Tim Lohmar, the prosecuting attorney from St. Charles County in Missouri, who is handling the Sheldon Richardson case, explained to Rich Cimini of ESPN New York why they aren’t pursuing drug or child endangerment charges against the Jets defensive end.
“[W]e didn’t think there was enough evidence to support that beyond a reasonable doubt,” Lohmar said.
“You might think, ‘He was driving 143 mph with a child in the back seat; isn’t that enough?’” Lohmar said. “There has to be some sort of intent on the part of the actor, causing immediate danger to the child. We looked at it closely, but we felt there wasn’t enough.”
As for the drug charges, Lohmar explained that police didn’t find any marijuana.
“We’re pretty darn sure we know what was going on there,” he said. “It reeked of marijuana … but without the [marijuana] itself, you don’t have enough evidence to support drug charges.”
Since the news broke on Thursday, there has already been talk that Richardson’s future with the team and in the NFL could be in question.
Mike Freeman of the B/R has spoken to three NFL sources who all said they think Richardson will never play another down in the NFL following this arrest.
- Freeman’s sources all pointed to the 12-year child and the loaded handgun in the car as two major concerns regarding the incident.
Kristian Dyer of Metro spoke to a team source Friday morning who mentioned that members of Jets’ management and the coaching staff discussed the possibility of Richardson being suspended for the entire 2015 season.
Dyer’s source added that the Jets began preparing “for the possibility that ‘Shel’ might not be a part of the team this year.”
“What was most worrisome is that he tried to cover this up, he didn’t tell anyone on the team about this,” Dyer’s source said. “Like we wouldn’t know.”
“It is a character concern,” the source added. “It is a liability thing to. You have money tied up in this guy, first round money, and he says one thing on the first day of camp. Then, what, minutes later, this comes out? That is a serious lack of judgment.”
This comes just a few weeks after Richardson was suspended four games for violating the league’s substance-abuse policy.
Richardson, 24, is entering the third year of his four-year, $10.054 million rookie contract and was set to make a base salary of $1.319 million for the 2015 season.
Last year, Richardson recorded 66 tackles, eight sacks, a forced fumble, a recovery and a safety for the Jets’ defense. Pro Football Focus has him rated as the No. 2 defensive end in a 3-4 defense out of qualifying players.
We’ll have more details regarding Richardson as the news is available.