Former Miami Hurricanes Football Player Charged with Murder 15 Years After Death of Teammate

by Clayton Edwards

In 2006, Bryan Pata had the world in the palm of his hands. The 22-year-old senior was a star defensive lineman for the Miami Hurricanes. Everyone thought he would be a high NFL draft pick including his University of Miami teammates. If things would have gone that way, we would most likely remember him as a star in the NFL. Instead, Pata became one of South Florida’s most talked about unsolved murders.

On November 7, 2006, Pata returned home after practice. He was outside of his home at the Colony Apartments in Kendall, Florida when someone snuffed out his life along with all of the dreams that were pinned to his success. With a single shot to the back of the head, the Miami Hurricanes star was dead.

Miami-Dade detectives investigated the crime heavily. They spoke to friends and family members of Patas. Additionally, they interviewed the late football star’s girlfriend as well as his fellow Miami Hurricanes. They made no arrests. In fact, they never publicly named a suspect, according to the Miami Herald.

That changed earlier today. Miami-Dade Police arrested Rashaun Jones in Marion County, Florida with the help of US Marshals. He is being charged with first-degree murder. Jones will be extradited to Miami-Dade county to stand trial on the charges.

 The 35-year-old Lake City, Florida resident was once Pata’s teammate. However, Jones wasn’t just a fellow Miami Hurricane. He was also a defensive lineman like Pata.

The Herald reported that the Miami Hurricanes teammates had once gotten into a fistfight. Additionally, Jones had dated Patas’ girlfriend at one time. So, police assumed that Jones would have a motive for murder. However, he was not charged or arrested for the crime until today.

More About the Miami Hurricanes Murder Case

The Miami-Dade Police took to Twitter earlier today to announce that they had made an arrest in the Miami Hurricanes murder case. MDPD Director Alfredo Ramirez III said, “For nearly 15 years, our homicide investigators have relentlessly searched for the murderer of Bryan Pata. They take great pride in their work ethics as they always represent their victims,” in a tweet. He went on to say that they teamed with Kathy Rundle, the DA, to bring justice to Patas’ family as well as the community.

Along with that message, Director Ramirez shared a video that included more information about the Miami Hurricanes murder case and the arrest.

In that video, Detective Juan Segovia detailed the arrest and gave more insight into the investigation.

First, he talked about the murder. Then, he talked more about Bryan Pata. The football player had no known enemies or criminal ties, according to the detective. Instead, he was an all-around good guy who dreamed of a career in the NFL. All he wanted to do was take care of his mother and siblings with his skill on the field.