Jury selection begins in former FSU star’s murder trial
Jury selection began Thursday morning in the murder trial of former Florida State University football star Travis Rudolph.
Rudolph, 27, is accused of fatally shooting a man in Lake Park in April 2021.
The former Florida State wide receiver has been out of jail on house arrest since last year after he unsuccessfully sought a "stand your ground" defense in his first-degree murder trial.
A total of 90 prospective jurors were being questioned by prosecutors and defense attorneys as they seek a 12-person panel to be seated for the trial.
According to a Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office probable cause affidavit, Rudolph shot two people during an altercation outside a home in the 500 block of North Redwood Drive.
One of the victims fled after the shooting and was later found fatally wounded in the front passenger seat of a car near 40th Street and Broadway Avenue in West Palm Beach. The driver and back seat passenger were also in the car, but they were uninjured.
Another victim was found with gunshot wounds at the shooting scene in Lake Park.
A star wide receiver at Cardinal Newman High School, Rudolph went on to play at Florida State. He hauled in 153 catches for 2,311 yards and 18 touchdowns in three seasons with the Seminoles from 2014-16.
The West Palm Beach native left school early to declare for the NFL Draft. Although he wasn't drafted, Rudolph signed with the New York Giants in 2017 and spent two seasons with the team.
Rudolph was signed to the Miami Dolphins practice squad in 2018 but tore an ACL on his first day of workouts and never played in the NFL again.
He signed with the Canadian Football League's Winnipeg Blue Bombers in 2020, but the team released him after his arrest.
Rudolph made headlines in 2016 when, during a team visit to a Tallahassee elementary school, he decided to sit with a boy who was eating alone at a lunch table. It turned out that the boy, Bo Paske, had autism.
The moment was captured in a photograph that Bo's mother shared on Facebook, along with a heartfelt message that quickly went viral.
Tragedy struck Rudolph in April 2017 when, while preparing for the NFL Draft, his father was fatally shot in the neck with an AK-47 assault rifle at what was then known as Sugar Daddy’s Cabaret in West Palm Beach.
Paul Senat, who co-owned the club, told detectives that he was in the office with Darryl Rudolph and co-owner David Fiore, but left to move the rifle, which was kept on a shelf in an adjacent liquor room. Senat said he grabbed the gun and it discharged, firing a single shot that went through the wall and struck the 55-year-old victim.
Senat was arrested on a manslaughter charge in connection with the fatal shooting of Darryl Rudolph, but Senat later pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of culpable negligence and was sentenced to two days in jail, receiving credit for time already served. He has since been convicted on unrelated federal charges and was sentenced in 2020 to more than seven years in prison.
Jury selection was expected to continue through Friday. The trial was expected to last through the end of the month.
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