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Former Miami Hurricanes teammate charged in Bryan Pata 2006 murder case

Former Miami Hurricanes teammate charged in Bryan Pata 2006 murder case
Dec 2, 2017; Charlotte, NC, USA; A Miami Hurricanes helmet lays on the sidelines in the first quarter against the Clemson Tigers in the ACC championship game at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

The unsolved 2006 murder case of Miami Hurricanes star defensive tackle Bryan Pata may finally be arriving at a resolution, as Pata’s former teammate, defensive back Rashaun Jones, was arrested Thursday in connection with the crime.

David Ovalle of the Miami Herald reported the news of Jones’ arrest, which comes almost 15 years after Pata was shot and killed outside of his apartment upon returning home from football practice.

Pata was believed to be a legitimate NFL Draft prospect before his death, and Jones, per the report, has long been eyed as a suspect, since he’d dated Pata’s girlfriend and had previously gotten into a physical altercation with him.

Miami-Dade Police director Freddy Ramirez III posted about Jones’ arrest for Pata’s murder on social media:

Jones, 35, has been charged with first-degree murder for Pata’s death, which occurred on November 7, 2006. Pata was only 22 years old.

The fact that there weren’t any witnesses to the fatal shooting made the case difficult to solve for many years.

In the Herald‘s report, an ESPN investigative story on Pata’s unsolved murder from November 2020 is referenced, which initially revealed Jones to be a primary suspect.

On the day of the crime, Jones skipped a mandatory team meeting that was called as awareness of Pata’s death was growing. Jones was also serving a suspension for a third failed drug test.

US Marshals helped carry out Jones’ arrest on Thursday, per the Herald, and he will stand trial in Miami-Dade County.