Posted by: ewadd986 | 04/18/2011

Getting a 2nd Chance

Today when I was rolling through my twitter feed, I came across an interesting tweet from NFL analyst and reporter Chris Mortensen:

“In a search for unique, intriguing draft stories, the status of Montana safety Jimmy Wilson jumped out bigtime”-@mortreport 

Jimmy Wilson is a defensive back from the University of Montana who spent 25 months in jail before he was finally acquitted of murder charges in 2009.  Per Mortensen, Wilson’s story goes like this:

The remarkable story of Wilson had its tragic chapter on June 2, 2007. Wilson’s confrontation with an alleged abusive boyfriend of his aunt resulted in the death of the boyfriend, Kevin Smoot, who was fatally wounded by a rifle shot after the two men scuffled.

On that fateful day, Wilson had stopped at the Lancaster, Calif., home of his grandmother before his scheduled drive to Missoula, Mont., to begin summer workouts. Before his departure, Wilson said his aunt, Opal Davis, called the house to complain that Smoot had been abusive, including urinating on her during a domestic dispute. Wilson said he drove to his aunt’s home with the intent of bringing her and two children fathered by Smoot back to his grandmother’s home.

Wilson said an intoxicated Smoot came out of the garage with a rifle. A struggle ensued, the rifle discharged and Smoot ran from the scene, believing he was being shot at. When he heard his aunt scream, he said he turned and realized Smoot was dead.

Instead of waiting for police, Wilson said he panicked and fled, driving all night to Montana before he realized he had made a huge mistake in leaving the scene. He called an attorney and returned to Los Angeles to turn himself in to authorities.

Wilson was charged with first-degree murder in a case prosecutors described as homicidal street justice. He sat in jail until his trial in November 2008 resulted in a hung jury with an 11-1 vote in favor of his acquittal. The judge declared a mistrial, but prosecutors re-filed the charges, adding voluntary manslaughter to the first-degree murder charge.

Wilson returned to jail for an additional eight months before the second trial, in which a 12-person jury that deliberated less than a day on July 10, 2009, acquitted him on both charges.

Now Wilson is putting his past behind him in hopes of being selected come draft day in less than two weeks.  He has already visited the Indianapolis Colts and the Seattle Seahawks and plans to visit the St. Louis Rams and Miami Dolphins later on in the week.  Teams will definitely interview Wilson about his past but from all reprorts he is a great person:

“Lot of credible people have spoken up for Jimmy Wilson. I’ve spoken to a few on background. Impressed when you speak w him, too”- @mortreport

I honestly can’t say that I had ever heard of Wilson before I read this article.  Had things gone the way they were supposed to, he would have been a part of the 2008 draft class but obviously, things didn’t work out.  I think this just goes to show us all that life can throw you a hurdle and in Wilson’s case this was a HUGE hurdle, but it’s how we handle the adversities that eventually makes us who we are.   I don’t know if he will get drafted or if he will ever hang around in the NFL, but one thing I do know: I’ll be rooting for Jimmy Wilson come draft day.


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