Georgia defensive lineman Jalen Carter will serve no jail time stemming the top 2023 NFL Draft prospect being booked -- and later released -- earlier this month on misdemeanor charges of reckless driving and racing. Carter entered into a deal with Athens-Clarke County solicitors where he pled no contest, according to The Athletic. The 21-year-old will receive 12 months of probation, pay a $1,000 fine and perform 80 hours of community service along with a driving course.
The incident revolves around athat killed Georgia football player Devin Willock, 20, and recruiting analyst Chandler LeCroy, 24. Upon further evidence and statements regarding the incident, it's been revealed that at least two other cars were at the scene, both driven by Georgia football players, including Carter.
Carter is said to have misled prosecutors, first claiming he was a mile away from the accident before later saying he was alongside the car that crashed. He was driving a 2021 Jeep Cherokee Trackhawk with a Hellcat V-8 motor during the accident. Meanwhile, the crashed vehicle was traveling more than double the speed limit and toxicology reports also revealed that LeCroy was driving with a blood alcohol concentration of .197, over double the legal limit.
"First, Jalen Carter's actions on Jan. 15, 2023, did not cause the cause the tragic accident involving Chandler LeCroy, Devin Willock, Victoria Bowles, and Warren McClendon," Carter's attorney, Kim T. Stephens, said in a statement (via NFL Media). "If the investigation had determined otherwise, Mr. Carter would have been charged with far more serious offenses of vehicular homicide and serious injury by vehicle under Georgia law, both felony offenses, and would have faced a lengthy prison sentence.
"Second, Mr. Carter never left the scene of the accident without being told that he could leave. He stopped his car immediately after the accident occurred and ran toward the wrecked vehicle while his passenger called 911. Even after being informed that he could leave, Mr. Carter returned to the scene at the request of the Athens-Clarke County Police Department to answer additional questions and continue to cooperate throughout the investigation.
"Finally, Jalen Carter had not been drinking alcohol and was not under the influence of alcohol or any other illegal substance at the time of the wreck. If there had been any suspicion that Mr. Carter had consumed alcohol or used an illegal substance when Athens-Clarke County police officers and investigators spoke to him at the scene, following the accident, they would have arrested him for DUI."
In a statement following the warrant being released, Carter, who was at the NFL Scouting Combine at the time of the warrant, said "there is no question in my mind that when all of the facts are known that I will be fully exonerated of any criminal wrongdoing." Prior to this incident, Carter was considered to be a consensus top-five pick at the 2023 NFL Draft later this spring..