Athletes Who Are Behind Bars Right Now

Athletes Who Are Behind Bars Right Now

Most of the time, athletes serve as role models and inspire countless kids to achieve greatness. But once in a while, they end up as cautionary tales. You won’t believe why some of these athletes are in prison.

Randall Woodfield

Randall Woodfield’s trouble with the law goes quite a ways back, starting with being arrested for indecent exposure while still in high school.

In college, where he played as a wide receiver for the Portland State Vikings, he was arrested multiple times for the same thing. Despite such a history, he was drafted by the Green Bay Packers in 1974 — though he was cut from the team before he ever got a chance to play.

Only a year later, he was sentenced to ten years in prison after pleading guilty to second-degree robbery.

After serving only four of those years, he was released on parole. It was at this point that Woodfield began to travel the I-5 interstate and commit the murders that led to him being called the “I-5 Killer”.

He was caught in 1981, and sentenced to life in prison — plus an additional 90 years — for his crimes. Since then, he’s been serving his time at Oregon State Penitentiary.

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Henry Ruggs III

Drafted by the Las Vegas Raiders in the 2020 NFL draft, Henry Ruggs III was seemingly bound for greatness.

However, only halfway into his second season, he was involved in a deadly car crash that ultimately ruined his career. On November 21st, 2021, Ruggs was driving his Chevy Corvette at speeds of over 150 mph when his vehicle slammed into another car outside of Las Vegas.

The second car burst into flames, killing the driver, 23-year-old Tina Tintor, and her dog, Max. That same day, the Raiders released Ruggs. The former football star pled guilty to felony DUI, resulting in death, and was sentenced to three to ten years in prison.

He is serving his sentence at the Stewart Conservation Camp in Carson City, Nevada.

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Gavin Grant

From 2005 to 2010, English footballer Gavin Grant played for a number of professional teams, including Millwall, the Wycombe Wanderers, and Bradford City. However, his promising career came crashing down when he was convicted of murder in 2010 for shooting 21-year-old Leon Labastide.

He was sentenced to life in prison, with a minimum of 25 years before being eligible for parole. The Guardian reports that Labastide was killed in “a series of tit-for-tat shootings,” as the neighborhood used to be a hotbed for gang activity. Labastide’s mother said in a statement: “Leon was a keen footballer who shared his passion for the game with all who knew him.

He loved life. His senseless killing by so-called friends who grew up with him has left it hard for me to understand the futility of snatching Leon’s future whilst, in the same breath, destroying their own.”

Kellen Winslow II

Prodessional athlete Kellen Winslow II bounced around the NFL as a tight end, having been drafted by the Cleveland Browns in 2004.

After four seasons with the team, he played for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, New England Patriots, and New York Jets before being suspended in 2013 for performing-enhancing substances.

Although he tried to make a comeback, no team wanted him. Turns out, everyone’s instincts were spot-on.

After a convoluted series of trials revolving around rape, indecent exposure, and other crimes, Winslow was sentenced to 14 years in prison. He has since been incarcerated at the California Correctional Institute in Tehachapi. In 2023, Winslow spoke to USA Today about how he was trying to reduce his prison sentence.

In his interview, the athlete stated that he suffers from Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy— a brain disease found in athletes who experience continuous head trauma; he believes this is what caused him to act out in the ways that he did. As of this article, his sentence has yet to be reduced.

Brandon Browner

Ex-NFL player Brandon Browner is best known as one of the founding members of the Seattle Seahawks’ Legion of Boom defense of the early 2010s.

The Seahawks looked to be one of the best teams in the league, which they would eventually prove by winning Super Bowl XLVIII in 2013.

The following year, Browner played for the New England Patriots and, again, took his team to the Super Bowl and beat his former team. In 2018, three years after ending his NFL career, he was arrested for breaking and entering the home of his ex-girlfriend in California.

According to TMZ, he, quote, “chased her, dragged her and then smothered her in a carpet”. He was subsequently charged with attempted murder and two misdemeanor counts of child cruelty, as her two children were present when the horrific crime occurred.

The former sports star pleaded no contest. In December 2018, he was sentenced to 8 years in prison. He is serving his sentence at Wasco State Prison near Bakersfield in California.

Darryl Henley

Selected in the 1989 NFL Draft by the Los Angeles Rams, Darryl Henley is another young athlete who had a promising future. However, that future crumbled to pieces in 1995 when he was arrested and convicted of drug conspiracy and possession charges.

The former star cornerback was sentenced to 20 years in prison. Two years later, Henley was given an extra 21 years on top of his 20-year sentence.

Bribing a prison guard to smuggle a phone for him in his cell, Henley plotted to kill the judge who presided over his case — as well as a Rams cheerleader-turned-witness who was 19 when she helped Henley smuggle suitcases of cocaine across the country.

Henley is serving out what’s left of his 41-year sentence at The Metropolitan Detention Center in Los Angeles.

Henley has had a lot of time to think about his actions in prison. In a 2018 op-ed for Fox News, the former sports star shared that he had met with a reverend and rabbi who helped him find faith and forgive himself.

He said: “They have confirmed to me that I have worth and that there is a God who sees me, cares and doesn’t hold me in a prison of eternal condemnation.”

Mark Rogowski

Mark Rogowski — better known as “Gator the Skater” — was a vert skateboarding icon in the 1980s.

However, when the ’90s rolled around and people were beginning to become more interested in street skating, Rogowski faded into obscurity.

The once-acclaimed skateboarder’s life took a drastic turn when he was convicted of the rape and murder of his ex-girlfriend’s friend, Jessica Bergsten, in March 1991. He was sentenced to 31 years to life for the gruesome murder. He was granted parole in 2019 and 2022, but it was reversed both times by California Governor Gavin Newsom.

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Sergio Mitre

Sergio Mitre pitched for four MLB teams between 2003 and 2011, beginning his career with the Chicago Cubs and ending it with the New York Yankees.

He later signed with the Mexican Baseball League and was an active player until 2019. The following year, Mitre was charged with a horrendous crime.

In July 2020, Mitre was charged with the murder of the 22-month-old daughter of his former girlfriend.

As reported by the Mexican magazine Proceso, the child was rushed to Saltillo Children’s Hospital in Mexico by her mother, where it was determined that she had been severely beaten and had suffered a fracture at the base of her skull.

She died at the hospital of hypovolemic shock. Mitre was sentenced to 50 years in a Mexican prison for the crime.

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