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Ex-NFL Player Travis Rudolph Back in Court for Day 5 of Murder Trial

June 1, 2023 | By Kali Girl

Day 5 of former FSU football player Travis Rudolph’s murder trial began with opening statements from both sides. According to the Palm Beach Post, Rudolph, charged with murder and three counts of attempted murder, claims self-defense in a fatal shooting outside his home two years ago.

The incident occurred on April 7, 2021, when former girlfriend, Dominique Jones, engaged in a heated argument with Rudolph, sent a text to her brother and his friend, urging them to “please go shoot his sh*t up.” However, Jones clarified that her intention was never for the men to inflict any harm on her former partner.

Later four men approached Rudolph’s doorstep after a dispute with his girlfriend, leading to a violent confrontation where Rudolph armed himself with an AR-15.

According to prosecutors, two individuals attempted to escape in a black Cadillac before Rudolph discharged 39 rounds towards them, resulting in the death of Sebastien Jean-Jacques, who was seated in the passenger seat.

Crime-scene investigator Juliann Brandt, of the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office, took the stand on Wednesday. Brandt recounted her response to a deserted area on Broadway Avenue in West Palm Beach around 1 a.m. on April 7, 2021.

The vehicle carrying the men had come to a halt there, having raced away from Rudolph’s Lake Park residence. A bullet fired from Rudolph’s rifle had pierced the car’s undercarriage. Tragically, Jean-Jacques succumbed to his injuries in the passenger seat, prompting his companions to dial 911.

Rudolph invoked Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law, which allows the use of lethal force for self-defense against the risk of death or significant bodily harm, as grounds for dismissing the case.

However, Circuit Judge Jeffrey Gillen rejected this plea, leaving the decision of whether Rudolph took Jean-Jacques’ life to protect his own up to the jurors.

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