What’s in the Water in Washington?

On December 23,2021 Deshazor Everett, Washington Commanders special teams captain and safety, was driving with his girlfriend, Olivia Peters, when his car left the roadway, struck several trees, and rolled over. The crash happened around 9:15pm and the two were in a 2010 Nissan GT-R. Just before the crash, Deshazor Everett and his girlfriend went out to dinner with teammates Jamin Davis and Benjamin St-Juste. It was reported that Everett was traveling over twice the posted 45 mile per hour speed limit immediately prior to the accident. One of the witnesses told a dispatcher that the car was “trapped in the trees.” Everett’s girlfriend ended up dying afterward. Deshazor Everett spent four days in the hospital.

On February 8th, 2022, Everett turned himself in after a warrant was issued as a result of the car accident. Everett was charged with involuntary manslaughter in Loudon County. Everett was released on a $10,000 bond. Kaveh Noorishad, Everett’s attorney, stated “Our team continues to investigate this matter as we intend on vigorously defending Mr. Everett against these allegations. We continue to ask that judgment be reserved until all facts are fully investigated and litigated in proper form.”

On February 8th, the Commanders issued a statement: “We are aware of these charges and are continuing to monitor the situation. We will have no further comment at this time.” The day after the accident, Everett was placed on the reserve/non-football injury list. On March 1st, 2022 Everett will be arraigned in Loudoun County District Court.

Will Everett ever play football again if he is convicted? Looking at USA Today’s NFL player arrest database, Everett is the only player to be charged with involuntary manslaughter since 2000. In Virginia, involuntary manslaughter is defined as the killing of another person accidentally. Virginia law provides for a maximum of 10 years in state prison and a maximum fine of $2,500 upon conviction of the offense.

In 2008, Charles Grant was charged with manslaughter. Grant pleaded no contest to the misdemeanor charge of public fighting and a $1,000 fine and one year of unsupervised probation. It is unclear what the NFL punishment was if there was any. In 2003, Dwayne Goodrich was charged with manslaughter. Goodrich was cut by the Cowboys after the incident, and was found guilty of criminally negligent homicide with a deadly weapon and was sentenced to seven and a half years in jail. In 2001, Jeremiah Parker was charged with manslaughter and child abuse. Parker was given a 10-year sentence. The Giants waived Parker after the incident.

Since the NFL is a private association it has to ensure the punishment that is imposed upon Everett is not arbitrary and capricious compared with the punishments of other players who have faced similar offenses. From past cases it seems like Everett will probably be cut by the Washington Commanders if he is charged with involuntary manslaughter. One has to wonder if the NFL will consider that Everett had the option of taking an Uber or Lyft home that night and could have avoided the entire catastrophe.

Sources:

https://www.si.com/nfl/washingtonfootball/news/tragedy-on-trial-washington-commanders-deshazor-everett-charged-car-crash-death-girlfriend#gid=ci02995aafe000278e&pid=deshazor-everett–geoff-burke-2019-jul-25

https://www.espn.com/nfl/story/_/id/33245793/washington-commanders-deshazor-everett-charged-involuntary-manslaughter-girlfriend-car-crash-death

https://www.si.com/nfl/2022/02/08/deshazor-everett-washington-turns-himself-in-warrant-car-accident-manslaughter

https://www.hogshaven.com/2022/2/8/22924046/deshazor-everett-charged-with-involuntary-manslaughter

https://www.virginiacriminallawfirm.com/practice-areas/violent-crimes/manslaughter#:~:text=Like%20voluntary%20manslaughter%2C%20if%20you,VA%20Code%20section%2018.2%2D36.1.&text=Specifically%2C%20you%20would%20face%20up%20to%2020%20years%20in%20state%20prison

https://www.nola.com/sports/saints/article_c43a3822-d312-5422-a654-9a72c2fd5346.html

https://www.dallasobserver.com/news/cornerback-dwayne-goodrich-the-cowboy-who-killed-those-kids-6407701#:~:text=Cut%20by%20the%20team%20a,half%20years%20in%20August%202003

Photo: Terrance Williams

https://abcnews.go.com/Sports/washington-football-teams-deshazor-everett-injured-car-crash/story?id=81934246

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