Suspect charged in shooting of Giants rookie Corey Ballentine

By Vincent Frank
Danielle Parhizkaran/NorthJersey.com via USA TODAY NETWORK

Former small-school cornerback Corey Ballentine was simply looking to celebrate after being made a sixth-round pick of the New York Giants in April’s NFL Draft.

It was a dream come true. Not too many football players from small school Washburn in Kansas make it to the professional ranks.

Unfortunately for Ballentine, he became victim to a double shooting shortly after being drafted. Said shooting took the life of former college teammate, Dwayne Simmons.

In an attempt to get justice for the two, authorities in Topeka charged 18-year-old Francisco Alejandro Mendez with first-degree murder and attempted first-degree murder.

“Today was a good day of healing and the start of justice in the murder of Dwane Simmons,” Washburn football coach Craig Schurig told NJ.com.

Mendez has reportedly been in jail since May on three separate charges of robbery.

The good news for Ballentine is that he suffered minor injuries as a result of the assault. A potential conviction of the alleged assailant could provide some closure for both the Giants’ rookie and Simmons‘ family.