“I Strongly Believe In Forgiveness, Rehabilitation, Restorative Justice” | Former NFL Player Justin Bannan Gets 16 Years For Attempted Murder

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The saga surrounding a 2019 shooting involving former NFL player Justin Bannan finally has an ending.

On Thursday, the state of Colorado sentenced Bannan to 16 years in a Colorado state prison after shooting a woman almost three years ago.

The Sentence

“On behalf of Ms. Marie, we’re pleased with the Court’s sentence of Mr. Bannan,” said an exclusive statement to TSL from Zaner Harden Law, the attorney team representing the victim and survivor in the case.

“Undoubtedly, Ashely Marie’s empathy and compassion for Mr. Bannan was a factor in the Court’s decision to sentence Mr. Bannan to the minimum amount of 16 years.

“While Mr. Bannan caused irreparable physical and mental harm, Ms. Marie believes in restorative justice and hopes that Mr. Bannan can get the help he needs to live a productive and positive life when he is released.”

What Happened?

Last September, the 42-year-old ex NFL player was found guilty of attempted murder, first-degree assault, and more after involvement in a strange shooting in Boulder, Colorado.

According to reports, back on Oct. 16, 2019, Bannan claimed to police that he was hiding from the Russian mafia after entering the treatment room of Ashley Marie, an acupuncturist.

However, he shot her after she opened the door. According to reports, Bannan told police he “didn’t mean to shoot her” and that the gun going off was an “accident.” Bannan claimed to be hiding in the room to escape the Russian mafia who were tracking his cellphone.

Leniency

The sentence was only a third of the time Bannan was potentially facing. His charges elicited up to 48 years in prison under Colorado law. In addition, according to reports, the probation department initially requested a sentence of 32 years, while prosecutors requested a 26-year sentence.

However, the victim asked the Court to give Bannan the minimum mandatory sentence of 16 years.

“I strongly believe in forgiveness, rehabilitation, and restorative justice,” Marie said in a statement.

It was read at the sentencing hearing by her attorney, Stewart Cables.

“While Mr. Bannan’s actions have caused me deep and long-term damages, I do not believe he targeted me personally and I believe his judgment was severely hindered by drugs, alcohol and a myriad of football injuries.”

Taking Responsibility

Bannan played for five teams over a twelve-year NFL career, including the Baltimore Ravens and Denver Broncos. He pleaded not guilty because of insanity developed from CTE and the effects of repeated head trauma from his playing career.

However, according to reports, the prosecutors believed that Bannan was intoxicated at the time of the shooting. In addition, they cited his abuse of illegal drugs and prescription stimulants as another potential reason.

“His experience as a football player was neither the reason he shot the victim, nor a reason for him to evade responsibility,” said Boulder County deputy district attorney Adrian Van Nice in a statement.

“As noted by the judge in court, the defendant still fails to accept full responsibility for his drug abuse leading to the attempted murder of the victim in this case.”

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Rhett Butler is a Boxing Writer Association of America Journalist, Play-By-Play Commentator, Combat Sports Insider, and Former Mixed Martial Arts and Boxing Promoter. The New York City native honed his skills at various news outlets including but not limited to: TIME Magazine, Money Magazine, CNN's Wolf Blitzer Reports, and more. Rhett hosts the PRITTY Left Hook podcast, a polarizing combat sports insider's take featuring the world's biggest names.