Jalen Carter avoids jail time for fatal car crash

Georgia defensive lineman Jalen Carter watches as players warm up on the field before the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis, Thursday, March 2, 2023. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings) Darron Cummings/AP

Jalen Carter avoids jail time for fatal car crash

Jack Birle

March 16, 12:30 PM March 16, 12:30 PM

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Jalen Carter, a former University of Georgia defensive tackle, has pleaded no contest to misdemeanor reckless driving and racing charges and will avoid serving any jail time.

Carter, one of the top prospects in next month’s NFL draft, entered a deal with prosecutors in Athens-Clarke County, Georgia, to pay a $1,000 fine, receive 12 months probation, perform 80 hours of community service, and take a driving course, per Seth Emerson of the Athletic.


Carter’s lawyer also told Emerson that he did not cause the crash, was not under the influence of alcohol or “any other illegal substance,” and that he “never left the scene of the accident without being told he could leave.” The lawyer also said Carter has fully cooperated with authorities.

The January car crash involved cars driven by Carter and Chandler LeCroy, a Georgia recruiting staffer, with them engaging in apparent racing, according to police.

Toxicology reports found LeCroy’s blood alcohol concentration was .197% at the time of the crash, significantly above Georgia’s legal limit of .08%. Police also said evidence indicated LeCroy was driving the Ford Expedition at about 104 mph. Authorities did not charge Carter with any alcohol-related charges and have not accused him of driving under the influence.

LeCroy and Georgia offensive lineman Devin Willock were killed in the crash, while offensive tackle Warren McClendon and recruiting staffer Tori Bowles were both injured.

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Authorities in the Peach State issued an arrest warrant for Carter on March 1 while he was in Indianapolis, Indiana, for the NFL combine. Carter quickly returned to Georgia and was booked then released on a $4,000 bond after 16 minutes.

The defensive tackle was a standout during his three seasons at the University of Georgia, with 16 solo tackles, 16 assisted tackles, and two forced fumbles during the 2022 season. He was a unanimous All-American and named to the All-Southeastern Conference team for 2022. The incident in question occurred hours after the university’s parade celebrating the Georgia football team’s second consecutive national championship.

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