Jury: Former FSU, NFL WR Travis Rudolph not guilty of murder

ByJordan Raanan ESPN logo
Wednesday, June 7, 2023

Former New York Giants and Florida State wide receiver Travis Rudolph was found not guilty Wednesday on four charges from a 2021 shooting that left a man dead after a confrontation in front of Rudolph's Florida home.

Rudolph, who was signed as an undrafted free agent out of college and spent the 2017 season with the Giants, faced one count of first-degree murder and three counts of attempted murder. He was acquitted by a jury of peers after claiming the shooting was in self-defense.

Two men were shot and one, Sebastien Jean-Jacques, was killed in the incident in Lake Park, Florida.

The shooting on April 7, 2021, came after an altercation between Rudolph and his then-girlfriend Dominique Jones. Not long after, Rudolph was confronted at his house by four men. It ended with Rudolph firing 39 shots in the direction of their SUV.

A judge declined Rudolph's request to dismiss the case last year on the basis of Florida's "stand your ground" law,which allows the use of deadly force if a person reasonably believes it is necessary to protect against imminent death or great bodily harm.

Rudolph caught eight passes for 101 yards and no touchdowns during his rookie season with the Giants. He was waived the next summer before catching on with the Miami Dolphins. A knee injury ultimately ended his NFL career.

But after Wednesday's verdict, Rudolph's agent, Zac Hiller of LAA Sports & Entertainment, told ESPN that his client was excited to get back to football. Rudolph is 27 years old.

Rudolph was FSU's leading receiver in 2015 and 2016 and finished his career with 2,311 receiving yards and 18 touchdowns before leaving early to enter the NFL draft. After failing to get drafted and spending time with the Giants and Dolphins, he had a stint in the Canadian Football League.