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Murder trial of ex-FSU player Travis Rudolph scheduled for Thursday

The former FSU and NFL receiver was arrested after an April 2021 shooting in West Palm Beach.
 
Former Florida State receiver Travis Rudolph has pleaded not guilt to first-degree murder. His trial is scheduled to start this week.
Former Florida State receiver Travis Rudolph has pleaded not guilt to first-degree murder. His trial is scheduled to start this week.
Published May 17, 2023|Updated May 17, 2023

The murder trial of former Florida State and NFL receiver Travis Rudolph is scheduled to start this week after being postponed in February. Jury selection is set to begin Thursday morning in Palm Beach County.

Rudolph was arrested in April 2021 after a shooting in his hometown of West Palm Beach. What began as a fight between Rudolph and his girlfriend escalated when four men confronted Rudolph at his home, according to the initial probable cause affidavit. Rudolph went into his home, came back with a gun and shot at them as they fled, killing one man.

Rudolph pleaded not guilty to one count of first-degree murder with a firearm and three counts of attempted first-degree murder.

He tried to get the case dismissed because of self-defense or stand-your-ground immunity. In a hearing last spring, he argued that he feared for his life, the Palm Beach Post reported at the time. Circuit Judge Jeffrey Gillen determined that “the appearance of continuing danger was not so real that a reasonably cautious and prudent person under the same circumstances would have believed that the danger could be avoided only through the use of deadly force.”

This trial was previously scheduled for Feb. 24 but was postponed the day before.

Rudolph, 27, led the Seminoles in receiving in 2015 and 2016 and still ranks among FSU’s all-time leaders in catches (153) and yards (2,311). He later spent time with the New York Giants and Miami Dolphins.

Rudolph also faces a civil lawsuit from the mother of the shooting victim, Sebastien Jean-Jacques, under Florida’s wrongful death act. That suit, filed in March in Palm Beach County and previously unreported, accuses Rudolph, his mother and his brother of negligence in Jean-Jacques’ death. It also names two other defendants — the driver and owner of the car that tried to flee the scene. It seeks more than $50,000 in damages.

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