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Ex-NFL, Florida State player Travis Rudolph found not guilty of murder and attempted murder charges

<i>Logan Stanford/Icon Sportswire/Getty Images</i><br/>Travis Rudolph played football for Florida State University from 2014 to 2016.
Logan Stanford/Icon Sportswire/Getty Images
Travis Rudolph played football for Florida State University from 2014 to 2016.

By Rebekah Riess, CNN

(CNN) — Travis Rudolph, a former wide receiver for Florida State University who played in the NFL, was found not guilty of murder and other charges by a Palm Beach County jury on Wednesday, court records show.

Rudolph had faced one count of first-degree premeditated murder and three counts of attempted first-degree murder in connection with a 2021 shooting.

Rudolph argued the shooting was in self-defense, according to CNN affiliate WPBF.

The jury found Rudolph not guilty on all counts and he was released from house arrest Wednesday, according to court records.

“I’m definitely going to celebrate with my family, get back to trying to play football,” Rudolph told WPBF Wednesday.

Rudolph spent two seasons in the NFL as a player for the New York Giants and the Miami Dolphins. In 2017, he played seven games for the Giants, catching eight passes for 101 yards.

Marc Shiner, Rudolph’s attorney, told CNN the jury “reached a true and just verdict.”

“Travis has been falsely accused from day one and the truth came out. Travis is a special human being, and we wish him all the success in the world as he starts his newfound freedom,” Shiner said in a statement.

Marc Freeman, a spokesman for Palm Beach County State Attorney Dave Aronberg, said prosecutors respect the jury’s decision.

“Although we may disagree with the jury’s verdict, it is their job to determine from the facts whether a defendant is guilty or not guilty,” Freeman said. “Our thoughts are with the victims and their families in this case.”

Palm Beach County sheriff’s deputies responded to a double shooting in Lake Park, Florida, soon after midnight in April 2021, the sheriff’s office said in a statement. One man at the scene had been taken to a local hospital for treatment. Another man was found dead not far away in the city of West Palm Beach, the sheriff’s office said.

Investigators identified Rudolph as the suspect and he was arrested in the death of Sebastian Jean Jacques, according to WPBF.

Highly recruited out of high school, Rudolph attended Florida State University, where he spent three seasons as a member of the Seminoles from 2014 to 2016. He received All-ACC Second Team honors in his sophomore and junior seasons.

He previously garnered widespread praise after a viral video showed him eating lunch with a boy who has autism during a visit to a Tallahassee middle school.

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CNN’s Dakin Andone, Konstantin Toropin and Kevin Dotson contributed to this report.

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