FL v. Travis Rudolph: Ex-NFL Player Murder Trial

Posted at 8:22 PM, June 6, 2023 and last updated 4:49 PM, June 7, 2023


PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. (Court TV) — A Florida jury acquitted former NFL wide receiver Travis Rudolph of all charges after he stood trial for murder.

Travis Rudolph testifies during his murder trial.

Travis Rudolph testifies in court during his murder trial. (Court TV)

Rudolph, 27, who played for Florida State before stints with the New York Giants and Miami Dolphins, was acquitted of one count of first-degree murder and three counts of attempted first-degree murder. The charges were related to a series of events that unfolded after midnight on April 7, 2021 following an argument between Rudolph and his then-girlfriend, Dominique Jones.

The four men were: Jones’ brother, Keishaun Jones, Tyler Robinson, Chris Lowe, and the man who was killed, Sebastien Jean-Jacques.

According to text messages that were introduced into evidence, Dominique texted her brother and Robinson in a group message about Rudolph and told them to “shoot up his s***.”

READ MORE: Ex-girlfriend testifies in Travis Rudolph’s murder trial

Rudolph, who was in his home with his brother and sister at the time, claimed self-defense. His siblings maintain that Rudolph’s actions saved their lives that night.

A Stand Your Ground hearing was held regarding the matter. At the hearing, Rudolph’s brother, Darryl, testified that a physical altercation ensued as soon as the four men arrived at Rudolph’s residence.

However, a judge ruled that Rudolph could not use a Stand Your Ground defense because the men fled when the defendant fired 39 shots with his semi-automatic rifle.

Jean-Jacques, who was seated in the vehicle’s passenger seat as the men drove off, was shot a total of 10 times. Robinson was injured but survived.

Dominique Jones is cross-examined by defense attorney Heidi Perlet

Dominique Jones is cross-examined by defense attorney Heidi Perlet on the second day of testimony in the murder trial of former Florida State and NFL wide receiver Travis Rudolph, May 25, 2023, at the Palm Beach County Courthouse in downtown West Palm Beach, Fla. (Jeff Ringrose/WPTV)

Rudolph’s attorneys argued that Robinson showed up at the house with a gun that he tossed in the bushes once Rudolph began shooting. Robinson, who testified, admitted bringing a gun but denied ever brandishing it during the altercation.

The other two surviving victims of the alleged attack testified that they never intended for the confrontation to turn violent, and that Rudolph was the aggressor.

Dominique also took the stand, where she admitted sending the “shoot up his s***” text but insisted that she never meant for anyone to get hurt.

Rudolph testified in his own defense.



DAY 10 – 6/7/23

DAY 9 – 6/6/23

DAY 8 – 6/5/23

  • Travis Rudolph took the stand in his own defense, telling jurors that he fired his rifle in self-defense to protect himself, his mother and his brother.

DAY 7 – 6/2/23

DAY 6 – 6/1/23

  • Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office Agent Sean McMichael testified he responded to Rudolph’s home with his firearm-detection dog.. He said his dog found a handgun on the ground a few houses away from Rudolph’s.
  • Crime scene investigator testified she photographed 39 spent shell casings in the road near Rudolph’s home.
  • Another sheriff’s detective testified that after law enforcement got to the scene, Rudolph came out of his home and was placed in handcuffs, and was cooperative.
  • Detective Emily Vander-Laan was asked why they didn’t search for handguns on the path the car took from Lake Park to West Palm Beach to see if anyone in the car had ditched a gun. Detective Vander-Laan testified that no information was provided to sheriff’s investigators that any other firearms were used other than Rudolph’s gun.

DAY 5 – 5/31/23

  • Dr. Marlon Osbourne, Assistant Medical Examiner, says the victim, Sebastien Jean-Jacques, was shot ten times, and the fatal wound to his back pierced his lung. All of the gunshot wounds entered his body from right to left.
  • Jurors see crime scene photos of Travis Rudolph’s home, which included a high-tech security system and several guns and ammunition.
  • A gun not belonging to Travis Rudolph was found 100 feet from the crime scene.
  • The defense presses a theory that Sebastien Jean-Jacques was holding a gun the night of the shooting.
  • WATCH: Ex-NFL Player Murder Trial: Ex-Girlfriend Testifies


Court TV field producer Tiffany Smith contributed to this report.