Saturday, June 19, 2021

Robbery charges against former Giant DeAndre Baker dropped as lawyer arrested | Sport


One of the strangest NFL stories of 2020 appears to have reached a conclusion, with robbery charges against the former New York Giants cornerback Deandre Baker dropped by authorities in Florida.

The 23-year-old Baker was facing a possible life sentence after he was charged with four counts of robbery. The allegations claimed Baker, along with Seattle Seahawks cornerback Quinton Dunbar and two other men, robbed partygoers of thousands of dollars in cash, watches and other valuables during a party in Florida in May. The charges against Dunbar were dropped in August. Baker, a first-round pick for the Giants in 2019, was released by the team this summer.

However, the case fell apart on Monday when a lawyer in Florida was arrested for attempting to extort money from Baker on behalf of some of the alleged victims. William Dean wanted Baker to pay more than $250,000 to each of his clients. In return they would, according to police, do “anything you want, so long as the money is right.” Baker earned $6m in his first year in the NFL.

ESPN reported that the alleged victims had already recanted their testimonies last month, saying that Baker “did not directly or indirectly participate in any robbery or assist in a robbery at the scene or elsewhere.”

Assistant state attorney Paul R Valcore said on Monday the charges against Baker had been dropped after “the alleged victims and the known witnesses have become uncooperative and their credibility is inalterably tarnished.”

Baker’s lawyer, Bradford Cohen, told ESPN in August that the charges relied on unreliable witnesses. “Knowing that you have admitted liars – admitted liars, there is no way to cut around it or change the story. They are, at best, admitted liars and convicted felons. You have four guys that are convicted felons and admitted liars. You filed based on their word against a guy that has no criminal history, always gives back to his community,” Cohen said. “I wish I could think what they’re thinking, but it’s an impossibility. It’s such bad judgment that you can’t even put yourself into their shoes to imagine what he was thinking to file this case.”

Baker is understood to be seeking a return to the NFL.

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