Testimony begins in football player's murder trial

By Kontji Anthony - bio | email

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - Testimony began Tuesday in the trial of a man accused of murdering a University of Memphis football player.

Former University of Memphis student Devin Jefferson walked into court wearing a pink Polo and a demure demeanor.

Prosecutors told the court Jefferson masterminded a plot to rob University of Memphis business major and football player, Taylor Bradford, which ended with three robbers shooting the Nashville native.

The defense laid out Jefferson's plea.

"On the charge of murder in the first degree, the defendant pleads not guilty," Jefferson's attorney said.

During opening arguments, prosecutors accused the Memphis native of getting his neighborhood buddies to rob Bradford, with whom he had an ongoing feud.  They said Bradford gave buddies specific personal information to carry out the robbery in the gated dorm where the football player and the suspect's own girlfriend both lived.

"He got into Courtney Washington's vehicle and used his girlfriend's parking pass to get them in through that gate, and physically showed them right where he stayed," the prosecutor said.

The defense said the charge is unfounded.

"When you hear all the proof, Devin Jefferson is not responsible for the death of Taylor Bradford," Jefferson's attorney said.

Jefferson bit his lip and jittered when prosecutors called Taylor Bradford's father, Jimmy Bradford, to the stand.

Bradford was there to verify the identity of University of Memphis business major and football player Taylor Bradford.  He recalled the night three robbers shot and killed number 93.

"We received a phone call that my son had been shot," he said.

Bradford said he and his wife had spoken to Taylor the day before.  It was the last time they ever talked.

Testimony is scheduled to continue Wednesday.

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