The Athens-Clarke County Police Department issued arrest warrants for former Georgia defensive tackle Jalen Carter on Wednesday morning. The arrest warrants are for misdemeanor charges of reckless driving and racing, relating to the vehicle crash that killed Georgia offensive lineman Devin Willock and recruiting analyst Chandler LeCroy.
According to the statement released by an Athens-Clarke County spokesperson, Carter was present at the scene of the fatal crash despite Carter initially telling police that he was more than a mile away from the accident when it occurred.
Police documents revealed by the Atlanta-Journal Constitution show that Carter left the scene of the accident before emergency personnel and law enforcement arrived around 90 minutes later. When asked whether he was racing with Willock and LeCroy, Carter denied involvement but admitted he was driving “alongside” the other car, which had its speedometer stuck on impact at 83 mph.
The police department’s statement on Carter’s warrants said their investigation showed both Carter and LeCroy were operating their vehicles as if they were racing. Their statement, in full, reads:
“As a result of the ongoing investigation into the January 15, 2023, fatal crash that occurred in the 900 block of Barnett Shoals Road, the Athens-Clarke County Police Department has secured arrest warrants for Jalen Carter, 21, for Reckless Driving and Racing.
“The investigation found that Chandler LeCroy, driver of the 2021 Ford Expedition, and Jalen Carter, driver of a 2021 Jeep Trackhawk, were operating their vehicles in a manner consistent with racing shortly after leaving the downtown Athens area at 2:30 AM. The evidence demonstrated that both vehicles switched between lanes, drove in the center turn lane, drove in opposite lanes of travel, overtook other motorists, and drove at high rates of speed, in an apparent attempt to outdistance each other. Evidence indicated that shortly before the crash the Expedition was traveling at about 104 miles per hour.
“The toxicology report indicated the LeCroy’s blood alcohol concentration was .197 at the time of the crash. Investigators determined that alcohol impairment, racing, reckless driving, and speed were significant contributing factors to the crash. The case will be given to the Solicitor General’s Officer.”
According to NFL Senior VP of Football and International Communications Michael Signora (H/T to Tommy Garrett of PFN), Carter, along with five other players who were in medical checks, would not speak in the final interview window at the 2023 NFL Scouting Combine. He had previously met with teams, per NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. Carter’s agent, Drew Rosenhaus, opted against making a comment to the AJC.
Carter released a statement Wednesday afternoon, acknowledging he had received a call from the police regarding the warrants. He stated “Numerous media reports have also circulated this morning containing inaccurate information concerning the tragic events of January 15, 2023. It is my intention to return to Athens to answer the misdemeanor charges against me and to make certain that the complete and accurate truth is presented. There is no question in my mind that when all of the facts are known that I will be fully exonerated of any criminal wrongdoing.”
Georgia head coach Kirby Smart released a statement regarding the charges on Carter, saying “The charges announced today are deeply concerning, especially as we are still struggling to cope with the devastating loss of two beloved members of our community. We will continue to cooperate fully with the authorities while supporting these families and assessing what we can learn from this horrible tragedy.”
Willock died at the scene of the accident due to the nature of his injuries. LeCroy died at the local hospital due to the result of her injuries. Two others were injured.
On Thursday morning, Tom Pelissero tweeted that “Carter was booked last night at 11:33 p.m. ET on misdemeanor charges of Reckless Driving and Racing On Highway/Streets, per police. Carter, a top prospect in the 2023 NFL Draft, paid $4,000 bond and was released from Athens-Clark County Jail at 11:49 p.m.”
Rapoport reported on Thursday that Carter was back in Indianapolis Thursday morning and will participate in measurements, positional drills, and individual workouts.
We’ll continue to update this story as more information becomes available.