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Warrant Issued For Jalen Carter On Reckless Driving, Racing Charges In Connection With January 15th Crash

NCAA Football: Vanderbilt at Georgia Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Athens-Clarke Police announced this morning that an arrest warrant has been issued for former Bulldog defensive tackle Jalen Carter on charges of reckless driving and vehicle racing. The charges are each misdemeanors, and stem from the fatal January 15th crash that killed UGA athletic staffer Chandler Lecroy and offensive lineman Devin Willock.

According to a press release from the ACCPD evidence shows that Carter, driving a 2021 Jeep Trackhawk, and Lecroy in a Ford Expedition, were each operating their vehicles on Barnett Shoals Road in a manner consistent with racing. The vehicle operated by Lecroy appears to have reached a speed of 104 miles per hour just before the crash, and toxicology reports indicate that Lecroy’s blood alcohol content was .197, well above to .08 DUI threshold in Georgia.

Athens-Clarke County Police Department

It does not appear based solely on the release that Carter has been charged with hindering the investigation, misleading investigators, or similar serious after-the-fact offenses. The All-American lineman is currently in Indianapolis for the NFL scouting combine, where he met with teams this morning before the news was made public. Buzz had been building around Carter as a top five pick in the draft, and Mel Kiper had tabbed him the best player available regardless of position.

Again, neither of the charges against Carter are felonies. Both are technically punishable by a fine and up to 12 months in jail (though as an attorney I’ve never seen anyone serve more than a few days for either, and even that is the clear exception not the rule for first time offenders). The picture that has emerged from that awful night is one of young people, feeling invincible as only young people can, exercising poor judgment and paying horrible consequences for it. There’s no indication, even if convicted, that Carter intended for anyone to be hurt and I’m willing to bet that he’d give up just about anything to unwind the events of that night.

But the charges do dredge up NFL draft creeper McShay’s claims of “character concerns” about Carter from November. McShay’s specific comments were regarding Carter’s locker room presence (which doesn’t seem to be any issue at all). And the incident that’s the subject of these charges happened months after McShay’s remarks. Still, the potential effect on Carter’s draft stock is yet another sad facet of a tragic event, one with much more terrible, permanent consequences for the victims’ families and friends.