Former Miami Hurricanes football player Rashaun Jones pleads not guilty in killing ex-teammate Bryan Pata

ESPN is investigating the death of Bryan Pata, a former Miami Hurricanes lineman, more than 14 years later. (5:54).
How the police finally arrested Bryan Pata in the death of Bryan Pata 14 years later (5.54).

MIAMI -- Rashaun Jones, a former University of Miami football player, pleaded not guilty to murder charges in relation to a South Florida apartment building where he was a co-defendant in 2006.

After prosecutors had filed second-degree murder charges against Jones, a 35-year-old attorney for Jones entered the plea at a remote court hearing.

Jones was previously suspected in the murder of Bryan Pata (22), and was arrested last month. Jones was initially charged with first-degree murder. Prosecutors said that he could still be facing this charge. To indict Jones on this charge, however, prosecutors would need to present the case before a grand jury.

After his fourth and last season with the Hurricanes, Pata was expected be an early pick for the 2007 NFL Draft. On Nov. 7, 2006, Pata, who was 6 feet 4 inches tall and weighed 280 lbs (1.9 meters, 127 kilograms), was shot multiple times from his Kendall apartment.

Witnesses claimed that they heard arguing followed by gunshots. Police claimed that Pata had hundreds of dollars in his pocket, but neither his car or the cash was taken.

Investigators claimed that they had learned from numerous interviews that Jones and Pata, who were Hurricanes players for three seasons, had been in a fight before the shooting. Officials said that Pata had previously beaten his teammate in a fight. Pata's brother also told investigators that Jones threatened to shoot Pata just two months prior to his death. Pata did not report the threat despite the encouragement of his brother.

Jones stated that he was at home the night Pata died and that he never left. Authorities said that records prove Jones was using different cell towers at the time of the shooting. Police also confirmed that Jones was identified by an eyewitness who saw him in a photo lineup.


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