Death by athlete: it could happen to you. Several famous boxers, NFL players, NBA stars, and other athletes have killed people. Some of these athletes accidentally killed after being involved in car accidents, while others brutally murdered their victims. From first-degree homicide to accidental manslaughter, these sports stars will have the deaths of innocent people on their consciences forever. Whatever the explanation, these athletes are technically killers.
Who is the most famous athlete who killed someone? Ray Lewis tops our list. In 2000, Ray Lewis and his friends were involved in a fight that resulted in the stabbing deaths of two people. Lewis made a plea deal to provide testimony against his companions in exchange for prosecutors dropping the murder charges. He was fined $250,000 by the NFL and reached settlements with the victims’ families.
For some sports stars, the deaths came as part of the jobs. On March 24, 1962 Emile Griffith went 12 rounds against Benny “the Kid” Paret. The fight ended when Paret went into a coma after being punched 29 consecutive times. He died in the hospital 10 days later. The fight was televised live on ABC.
Former Oakland Raider Anthony Smith was convicted of of murdering three people over the course of three years. Smith was chosen in the first round of the 1990 NFL draft by the then-Los Angeles Raiders. He went on to play with the team as a defensive end from 1991-1997.
In November 2015, Smith was convicted of the 1999 shooting of Kevin and Ricky Nettles. He was also convicted of stabbing Dennis Henderson to death in 2001. In addition, Smith was accused in the shooting 2008 death of Mauirlio Ponce, but jurors couldn’t reach an verdict and a mistrial was declared. If that weren’t enough, jurors found Smith guilty of special circumstances allegations of multiple murders and torture.
April 15, 2015: Former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez, 25, was found guilty of first-degree murder. He was first charged with killing his fiancé’s sister’s boyfriend, Odin Lloyd, 27, in 2013. According to the prosecution, Hernandez and two other men picked up Lloyd at his home, drove him to a secluded industrial park, and shot him six times. They never presented a possible motive for the murder, nor did they find a murder weapon or any witnesses, yet they were still able to convince a jury that Hernandez had orchestrated the killing. Security video from his home showed Hernandez holding a gun just a few minutes after Lloyd was killed.
The two men with Hernandez at the time, Ernest Wallace and Carlos Ortiz, were also charged and will be tried separately. Hernandez’s lawyers claimed he was but a witness to the crime. He was sentenced to life in prison without possibility of parole.
In 2012, Hernandez was accused of killing two other men – Daniel Jorge Correia de Abreu and Safiro Teixeira Furtado – in Boston. He was later found not guilty and acquitted of the charges.
In 2000, Ray Lewis and his friends were involved in a fight that resulted in the stabbing deaths of two people. Lewis made a plea deal to provide testimony against his companions in exchange for prosecutors dropping the murder charges. He was fined $250,000 by the NFL and reached settlements with the victims’ families.
O. J. Simpson
O.J. Simpson may have been acquitted of the murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman back in 1995, but two years later, a civil jury found him liable for the wrongful death of and battery against Goldman.
In 2007, O. J. Simpson was also convicted of armed robbery, assault with a deadly weapon, burglary and conspiracy. He was sentenced to nine to 33 years in prison for these crimes.
Carlos Monzón was charged with killing his wife Alicia Muñiz in 1988. He was sentenced to 11 years in jail, but died in a car crash in 1995 during a weekend furlough.
In 2013, “Blade Runner” Oscar Pistorius fatally shot his girlfriend. He claimed that he thought she was a burglar, but was later found guilty of culpably homicide and sentenced to five years in jail. Pistorius wasreleased from prison after serving only one year in October 2015, much to the outrage of the Internet.
On March 24, 1962 Emile Griffith went 12 rounds against Benny “the Kid” Paret. The fight ended when Paret went into a coma after being punched 29 consecutive times. He died in the hospital 10 days later. The fight was televised live on ABC.
In 2001, promising NFL player Rae Carruth was convicted of conspiracy to commit murder and served 13 years in prison.
In 2002, NBA star Jayson Williams was playing with a shotgun when the weapon went off and killed Costas “Gus” Christofi. In 2010, Williams plead guilty to aggravated assault for the crime and was sentenced to 5 years in prison.
In 2009, NFL player Donté Stallworth plead guilty to DUI manslaughter charges after hitting a pedestrian with his car.
In 1991, professional skateboarder Mark Rogowski was charged with raping and murdering Jessica Bergsten. He was sentenced to 31 years in prison for his crimes.
In 2014, basketball player Mookie Blaylock was sentenced to 15 years in prison for vehicular homicide.
In 2012, Dallas Cowboy Josh Brent was sentenced to 180 days and ten years probation for intoxication manslaughter. His teammate and passenger Jerry Brown died after Brent crashed the car they were riding in.
Esteban de Jesús
In 1981, boxer Esteban de Jesús was convicted of murder after killing a 17-year-old in a traffic dispute. He was sentenced to life in prison. He died of AIDS at the age of 37, two months after his sentence was commuted by Gov. Rafael Hernandez Colon of Puerto Rico.
In 2004, Australian boxer Evangelos Goussis was involved with the killings of several people in association with the Melbourne gangland killings. He was sentenced to life in prison.
In 1955, West Indian cricket player Leslie Hylton killed his wife. He was sentenced to death by hanging for the crime.
In 1998, bodybuilder Bertil Fox was found guilty of the murders of his former fiance and her mother. He was sentenced to life in prison.
Canadian hockey player Dany Heatley was convicted of vehicular homicide in 2003. He was driving too fast and lost control of the car, fatally injuring his passenger.
On August 25, 1930, boxer Max Baer fought Frankie Campbell. After taking a brutal punch to the chin, medics tried to revive Campbell while he lay unconscious in the ring. He later died.
In 1988, American diver Bruce Kimball, while drunk, drove his car in to a group of teenagers. He killed two boys and injured several others. He was sentenced to 17 years in prison.
In 1984, Hockey player Craig MacTavish was convicted of vehicular homicide after driving while intoxicated.
In 2002, boxer Harry Simon was responsible for a car accident that resulted in the deaths of two adults and one child. He was found guilty of culpable homicide for the incident.
In 2011, Former NFL Eric Naposki was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for first-degree murder. He had killed Southern California millionaire William McLaughlin in his Newport Beach home 17 years earlier.
In 2003, NFL player Dwayne Goodrich was sentenced to 12 1/2 years in prison for criminally negligent homicide after being involved in a hit-and-run accident.
On June 22, 2002, Fernando Montiel defeated Pedro Alcazar in a fight. Alcazar received a good health report after the fight and he reportedly felt fine. Two days later he collapsed in his hotel room and later died at the hospital. His case caused major concerns about safety in the boxing industry.
In 2005, NFL player Leonard Little was sentenced to three months in prison after being indicted for involuntary manslaughter and other charges after crashing into and killing a pedestrian.
In 2010, British soccer player Gavin Grant was found guilty of murdering Leon Labastide. He had previously been suspected in other shooting deaths.
On March 21, 1963, Sugar Ramos fought Davey Moore. Moore hit the base of his neck on the bottom rope in the ring after being repeatedly hit by Ramos. Moore finished the fight and even conducted interview later in the evening, but he later died from is injuries.
On September 17, 2005, Jesús Chávez fought Leavander Johnson for the IBF crown. The fight was stopped in the 11th round after Johnson received a series of punches from Chávez. He later collapsed in his locker room and was rushed to the hospital. He had emergency surgery and was placed in a drug-induced coma, but Johnson died as the result of his injuries on September 22, 2005.
In 2006, Ex-boxer James Butler plead guilty to voluntary manslaughter and arson associated with the death of sports writer Sam Kellerman.
In 1930, baseball player Jim Mahady was sentenced to six to twelve years in prison for second degree manslaughter after he hit and killed a woman with his car.
In 2004, French rugby player Marc Cécillon shot and killed his wife at a party. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison for the crime.
In 1934, cricket player Vallance Jupp was involved in a deadly car crash in which his car struck and killed a motorcyclist.
In 2009, “The Quiet Storm” Al Seeger fought Benjamin Flores. After suffering severe brain trauma during the fight, Flores died five days later.
Former NFL player Robert Rozier is currently serving a 25-life in prison sentence stemming from multiple murder charges. He reportedly murdered seven people in order to be initiated into a gang.
Sumo wrestler Futatsuryū Jun’ichi was arrested after being involved with a hazing incident that resulted in the death of a young recruit in 2007.
In 1935, Canadian boxer Del Fontaine shot and killed his girlfriend Hilda Meeks in an act of jealously.
Jack Roland Murphy
In 1968, “Murph the Surf” Jack Roland Murphy was a professional surfer (and jewel thief) who was convicted of the first-degree murder of Terry Rae Frank. His was given a life sentence for the crime.