Thursday, January 22, 2009
Updated: January 23, 9:00 AM ET
Ga. authorities look closer at shooting
By John Barr
CONLEY, Ga. -- Georgia prosecutors have opened an investigation into an alleged shooting-for-hire scheme involving former Dallas Cowboys cornerback Adam "Pacman" Jones two weeks after the incident was featured in a report on ESPN's "Outside the Lines," a representative for the Dekalb County district attorney's office said Thursday.
The district attorney's office confirmed Thursday investigators are examining the events of June 2007 that occurred near Club Blaze, an Atlanta-area strip club.
"Our office is looking into this matter," Jada Hudspeth, a representative from the DA's office, said Thursday. "However, we cannot provide additional comments as it is an open investigation."
The case had been investigated by the Dekalb County police, but was never forwarded to prosecutors for review. The police had listed the case as inactive, meaning they were not pursuing it although it was officially not closed. The district attorney in Dekalb County has asked investigators to take a new look at the evidence.
Jones has denied any role in the shooting. An NFL spokesperson declined comment Thursday and said, "It's a law enforcement matter."
A recent OTL investigation revealed an Atlanta police informant told investigators that Jones, while serving a season-long NFL suspension in June 2007, offered to pay an accused murderer to shoot a man with whom Jones had exchanged words inside Club Blaze.
The man Jones is alleged to have arranged the shooting with is Edward "Slugga" Morris, one of two men Jones accused of extorting him and threatening him in the wake of a fight and triple shooting at a Las Vegas strip club in February 2007.
That incident, during NBA All-Star Weekend, left a club manager paralyzed from the waist down and resulted in NFL commissioner Roger Goodell suspending Jones two months later for the 2007 season.
Morris is accused by police and prosecutors in Atlanta of being a founding member of a violent street gang known as the International Robbing Crew. He's being held in Fulton County jail in Atlanta on three counts of murder and is awaiting trial in April.
In the recent OTL report, Morris described Jones as his "partner" and "friend" and denied extorting and threatening Jones after the shooting in Las Vegas.
Jones denies having any friendship with Morris.
Derek Wright, Morris' Atlanta-based attorney, acknowledged that Morris was with Jones inside Club Blaze in June 2007, four months after the Las Vegas shooting.
"He [Morris] was there and was in communication with Mr. Jones," Wright said.
Nobody was hurt in the June 2007 shooting near Club Blaze.
Jones, then a Tennessee Titan, was questioned by police at the time but neither he nor anyone else was ever charged.
John Barr is an ESPN enterprise reporter.