Former Florida State Receiver Charged With First-Degree Murder

Former FSU receiver Travis Rudolph is facing an attempted first-degree murder charge according to the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office. Rudolph was a stand-out wide receiver at Cardinal Newman and played his college ball at Florida State. He was signed by the Giants as an unrestricted free agent. He later found his way to the Canadian Football League. Rudolph, 25, is being held without bail. PBSO has yet to release the names of anyone who was injured or killed by Rudolph. He has since been released by Winnipeg.

What Happened?

Deputies responded to a double shooting. According to reports, one male was found dead and another male was injured by gunfire. The investigation led the police to turn their attention to Rudolph. Police say that Rudolph shot at four people, hitting two of them. One died and another was severely injured. Rudolph’s arrest report has not yet been made available and police aren’t talking about what they believed happened, at least not yet.

Rudolph’s father was killed at a Florida nightclub when someone shot through the wall using an AK-47. Rudolph’s father was struck by the bullet and killed. Elder Rudolph worked at the club as a handyman. The shooting was ruled accidental. However, the shooter was charged with manslaughter but later pled the charges down to culpable negligence.

The Younger Rudolph became temporarily famous when he was featured on Fox & Friends sitting with an autistic boy at a lunch table with whom no one else was sitting.

Attempted First-Degree Murder

There are a lot of unknowns involving this case, and the police have yet to issue a statement concerning what they believed happened. This is by no means open and shut. Rudolph may have felt threatened at the time of the shooting which under Florida’s stand your ground statute would have availed him the right to use lethal force.

It’s also unclear why Rudolph is being charged with attempted murder as opposed to actual murder. In a case like this, it would be typical for police to charge three counts of attempted murder and one count of first-degree murder. However, in Florida, attempted first-degree murder carries the same sentence as a successful first-degree murder. Both are potentially capital offenses and tend to result in prison sentences of life without parole.

There is much we don’t know about this case, including how the altercation started. If Rudolph was under attack, he would have a right to discharge his weapon. Since police are holding back information, it is likely that they haven’t fully built their case. However, the fact that charges are pending indicates that they have enough to move forward.

Talk to a West Palm Beach Criminal Defense Attorney

If you’re facing murder charges related to an altercation, you may be surprised to know that Florida permits the use of lethal force when you have reason to feel the threat of life and limb. Call the West Palm Beach criminal attorneys at The Skier Law Firm, P.A. today to schedule an appointment and learn more about how we can help.


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