Probe reopens in Pacman Jones shooting-for-hire allegation
By Sporting News staff reports
updated 10:39 p.m. ET, Thurs., Jan. 22, 2009
Adam "Pacman" Jones is the subject of an investigation in Georgia in an alleged shooting-for-hire scheme, according to a published report.
The Dallas Cowboys announced on Jan. 7 they would release Jones, a talented but troubled cornerback, following a turbulent season in which he was suspended six games for an off-field scuffle and made little impact on the field.
The move was made following reports regarding a shooting outside an Atlanta strip club in June 2007.
The investigation is under way in DeKalb County, Ga.
Jones has denied any role in the shooting.
The case, which had been inactive, was reopened following an ESPN story that "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."
A spokesman for the county's district attorney told ESPN on Thursday: "Our office is looking into this matter. However, we cannot provide additional comments as it is an open investigation." It was the district attorney's office that asked police to renew their investigation.
At the time of the incident, Jones was under a one-year suspension by the NFL for being involved in a Las Vegas shooting earlier that year.
According to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, "a source confirmed that when the Cowboys learned of the report by ESPN, the team made the decision to cut Jones, who is now under league investigation and whose NFL career could be finished as a result. The ESPN program reportedly includes security-camera footage and allegations that Pacman Jones ordered a gang member to carry out a shooting."
There were no injuries in the strip club shooting, which allegedly involved Edward "Slugga" Morris, a founding member of a violent street gang known as the International Robbing Crew. Morris is being held in Fulton County jail in Atlanta on three counts of murder and is awaiting trial in April.
A fight and triple shooting at a Las Vegas strip club in February 2007 left a club manager paralyzed from the waist down. The NFL suspended Jones two months after that incident.
Jones has been arrested six times and has been involved in a dozen incidents requiring police intervention since the Tennessee Titans drafted him in the first round in 2005.
Jones' release by the Cowboys will not become official until Feb. 9, the first day NFL teams can make waiver requests.
"He was surprised, and I think he was obviously somewhat hurt," said Worrick Robinson, Jones' agent. "At the same time, he understands the business behind what is happening here."
Jones was expected to give the Cowboys a boost on defense and special teams but had no interceptions and averaged 4.6 yards per punt return.
The Cowboys traded for Jones despite his suspension for the 2007 season after his multiple off-field incidents while with the Titans. He was given another chance and cleared to play in 2008 by commissioner Roger Goodell.
But on Oct. 7, Jones got into a scuffle with a bodyguard who was part of a team-employed security detail. A week later, Goodell suspended Jones indefinitely, which turned into a six-week suspension. Jones missed a seventh game later in the season with an injury.
Jones spent part of his time away from football taking part in an alcohol rehabilitation program.
"He was a young man who needed the opportunity to be in treatment, and he got the treatment he needed," Robinson said. "He came out of there a better person and a healthier person because of that."
Material from The Associated Press and Atlanta Journal-Constitution was used in this report.