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Former NFL defensive lineman Justin Bannan was convicted Friday in a Colorado court of multiple counts, including attempted murder. The charges stemmed from a 2019 shooting of a woman in Boulder.
A jury deliberated for eight hours before finding Bannan, who played for five NFL teams after a college career at the University of Colorado, guilty of attempted second-degree murder, first-degree assault with a deadly weapon, and first-degree assault extreme indifference.
Jury members had considered the charge of attempted first-degree murder. After deliberation, they chose instead the lesser but included an attempted second-degree murder charge.
He was taken into custody. His sentencing hearing is scheduled for Nov. 5. He faces between 16 and 48 years in prison on the most serious count.
Bannan claimed he was not guilty by reason of insanity, a result of the effects of concussions and other head injuries from his career in the NFL.
Bannan shot an acupuncturist, Ashley Marie, in October 2019. He told police he “didn’t mean to shoot her,” and that he was just hiding in the room because the Russian mafia was after him and tracking his cellphone. He said he fired the gun only once and that it was an “accident.”
“In Roman times, people would come cheer the gladiators. And they were great,” his attorney Harvey Steinberg said, according to video of the proceedings published by Fox 31 in Denver. “And then when they were done with them, as you know historically, they fed them to the lions.”
Drafted by the Buffalo Bills in 2002, Bannan was carrying a rolled-up $20 with cocaine residue on it at the time
He played for the Bills, Baltimore Ravens, St. Louis Rams, Detroit Lions, and Denver Broncos in a career that spanned 2002-13.
USA Today has the details. To read them, click here.