Former FSU Receiver Travis Rudolph’s Messy Murder Trial Finally Over, Jury Finds Him Not Guilty A Week After Shady Ex-Girlfriend’s Text Messages Were Revealed

Travis Rudolph is breathing a sigh of relief after hearing the jury’s verdict on Wednesday. The former NFL wide receiver and Florida State star was on trial on a murder charge in connection with the death of Sebastian Jean-Jacques. He killed Jacques two years ago outside of his home in Lake Park, Florida, behind a domestic violence accusation with his then-girlfriend Dominique Jones.

Travis Rudolph waiting for his verdict to be read in court. (Photo: @SaycheeseDGTL/Twitter screenshot)

Rudolph was found not guilty by a 12-person jury on Wednesday. He faced one count of first-degree murder and three counts of attempted murder. The trial lasted for almost two weeks.

“It means everything. I finally got my freedom back,” Rudolph said outside of the courthouse. “I can get back to my life.”

The Night In Question

Four men showed up to Rudolph’s home shortly after midnight on April 7, 2021 to confront him about an argument he got into with Jones several hours earlier. The confrontation turned violent and Rudolph pulled a semi-automatic rifle on the men as they were trying to leave in a black Cadillac. He fired 39 shots in their direction and killed Jean-Jacques sitting in the passenger seat of the vehicle. He also wounded Tyler Robinson who was sitting in the back of the car.

The men showed up because of text messages sent by Jones that read “go shoot his sh*t up” after she found text messages from another woman on Rudolph’s phone. She then testified in court in late May that Rudolph wouldn’t let her leave and he became violent toward her. She also testified that she smashed his Playstation and called him a “broke b***h.”

Rudolph’s Defense

In 2022, Rudolph asked Circuit Judge Jeffrey Gillen to dismiss his case under the Florida’s “stand your ground” law, which establishes that there is no duty to retreat before using deadly force in self-defense to protect against death or great bodily harm, according to the Palm Beach Post. His request was denied, but his claim of self-defense still swayed the jury at trial.

Rudolph posted on his Instagram celebrating his not guilty verdict with Vikings star running back Dalvin Cook. They two were teammates at Florida State from 2014-16.

Despite Rudolph’s joy, everyone was not happy about his not guilty verdict. Brandon Millan claimed to be a friend of Jean-Jacques and took to Twitter to voice his frustrationd.

“Justice was not served. F*** Travis Rudolph. You murdered my friend,” wrote Millan. He deleted the tweet but it prompted a lot of responses. The responses included things like “Dominique Jones got your friend killed” and “he should’ve stayed home.”

Either way, things worked out for Rudolph and he can now move on with his life.

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