An attorney for Rashaun Jones, accused of the murder of his former Miami Hurricanes teammate Bryan Pata, entered a not guilty plea on his client’s behalf.
The 35-year-old was arrested last month and charged with first-degree murder and is being held without bond.
It was back on November 7, 2006 when Pata was shot and killed in the parking lot of his Kendall apartment complex following a Hurricanes football practice. He was 22 years old.
Pata allegedly had previous ongoing issues with Jones including a physical altercation where Pata beat Jones. In fact, two months before his death, he informed his family that Jones had allegedly threatened to shoot him in the head.
It was back in 2019 when ESPN spoke with Jones briefly on the phone when he said he knew police and even some former teammates suspected him of killing Pata.
“What happened 12 years ago, happened 12 years ago,” he said at the time. “It’s got nothing to do with me. … I didn’t do it.”
His wife, Ishenda Jones, wrote in a text to ESPN that, “[Rashaun’s] comment was he was innocent. He did NOT kill Bryan. Miami-Dade found no evidence against my husband.”
On the night of the murder, Jones was absent from a mandatory team meeting called by coaches, even though he had been suspended that day after testing positive for marijuana. An arrest warrant noted that Jones said he was at his residence and never left on the night of the shooting, although location data from his phone placed him near Pata’s apartment. The warrant also noted about a gun Jones had that was the same caliber consistent with a bullet recovered from Pata’s head.