Jalen Carter pleads no contest to driving charges after crash tragedy, avoids jail

Getty Images

Jalen Carter has avoided jail after pleading no contest to misdemeanour driving offences relating to a crash that killed a Georgia teammate and a football staff member.

The defensive lineman, one of the most highly rated prospects in the 2023 NFL Draft, was charged with reckless driving and racing after an investigation, with arrest warrants leading to his early departure from the NFL Combine.

He returned to Georgia after the arrest warrants were issued, and his attorney announced on Thursday that Carter had pleaded no contest to the charges.

Carter was sentenced to 12 months' probation, a $1,000 fine and 80 hours of community service, as well as being ordered to complete a defensive driving course.

Chandler LeCroy, who worked in recruitment for the Bulldogs, died along with offensive lineman Devin Willock in the January 15 crash when the car they were travelling in left the road and hit nearby power poles and trees.

Carter's attorney, Kim T. Stephens, issued a statement that detailed the punishment imposed on Carter.

Stephens also addressed a number of claims regarding the incident and said the state was forever barred for bringing any additional charges against Carter regarding the crash.

"The investigation, the warrants taken for misdemeanour traffic charges, and the accusation filed against Mr Carter in the Athens-Clarke County Municipal Court demonstrate some key facts that should debunk false information that spread online and in the media after Mr Carter's arrest," the statement read.

"First, Jalen Carter's actions on January 15, 2023, did not cause the tragic accident involving Chandler Lecroy, Devin Willock, Victoria Bowlers and Warren McClendon. If the investigation had determined otherwise, Mr Carter would have been charged with far more serious offences of vehicular homicide and serious injury by vehicle under Georgia law, both felony offences, and would have faced a lengthy prison sentence.