Former NFL player Travis Rudolph gets to train at LA Fitness before facing murder trial

A former football star who is accused opening fire on four people, killing one and wounding another, and who faces charges of murder and attempted murder, can stay at his Lake Park home — and train at a park and an LA Fitness.

Travis Rudolph faces the possibility of life in prison after being accused of firing his assault rifle at a group of men and murdering 21-year-old Sebastien Jean-Jacques last year.

Rudolph has pleaded not guilty to one count of first-degree murder and three counts of first-degree murder. He was released from jail this month after being granted a $160,000 bond by the Palm Beach State Attorney’s Office. As part of his release, Rudolph will be allowed to train at an LA Fitness and Dyer Park in West Palm Beach from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., as long as his house arrest officer approves Rudolph’s schedule in advance.

Ken Malnik, a Fort Lauderdale criminal attorney who served on the defense team in the high-profile murder trial of Miami Subs founder Gus Boulis, said he thought it was “unusual” the state agreed to release Rudolph prior to the trial.

“Usually in these types of cases, the state will really contest and try to keep somebody locked up,” said Malnik, who is not involved in Rudolph’s case. “It’s a little unusual why the state would agree to a bond.”

Rudolph, 26, was previously held without bond after being arrested on April 7, 2021.

RELATED: Former FSU football star and NFL player Travis Rudolph accused of murder ]

Rudolph, who attended Cardinal Newman High in West Palm Beach and Florida State University and briefly played in the NFL, will remain on in-house arrest through the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office until the trial, which won’t begin until September at the earliest.

Rudolph shares the Lake Park home with his mother and his brother.

Rudolph’s attorney, Marc Shiner, filed a motion for pretrial release, but before it went to a judge, the state attorney’s office agreed to an order granting Rudolph’s bond.

Travis Rudolph, the onetime Cardinal Newman and FSU football player, testifies during his “stand your ground” hearing Tuesday, March 8, 2022 in West Palm Beach. (Lannis Waters / The Palm Beach Post) (Lannis Waters/The Palm Beach Post)

The shooting last April stemmed from an altercation Rudolph and his girlfriend, Dominique Jones, had earlier in the day, leading Jones to text her brother to come help out and “shoot his s— up,” according to court documents.

The brother, Jean-Jacques and two other men drove to Rudolph’s home to confront him over the incident. After they arrived, fighting broke out between the four men, Rudolph and Rudolph’s brother, Darryl, in front of Rudolph’s home. As the men retreated to their car, Rudolph allegedly fired 39 rounds at the vehicle, killing Jean-Jacques.

Rudolph’s attorneys say he acted in self-defense, while prosecutors say it’s murder.

Judge Jeffrey Dana Gillen dismissed Rudolph’s “stand your ground” claim in March, allowing the case to move forward.

In order to deny pretrial release, prosecutors have to clear a high hurdle in demonstrating the defendant’s guilt — a standard higher than “beyond a reasonable doubt,” Malnik said. He said the state allowing bond could stem from a variety of potential factors, such as the defense not wanting to show much of its case or not being prepared for a pretrial hearing.

In arguing for Rudolph’s release, Shiner said Rudolph has no prior arrests or criminal history and that his mother and brother, who also live in his house, have never been arrested.

Marc Freeman, a spokesman for the State Attorney’s Office, said they don’t comment on pending cases.

RELATED: Travis Rudolph testifies at stand your ground hearing: ‘When I saw a firearm, I was in fear for my life’ ]

A court order did not indicate whether Rudolph would have to wear a monitoring device.

Prior to the arrest, Rudolph was most recently with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the Canadian Football League, but was released by the team following his arrest. Rudolph signed with the organization in December 2019, but never played a game with the team since the CFL season canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The wide receiver played just seven games in the NFL with the New York Giants after going undrafted in 2017. He signed with the Miami Dolphins as part of their training squad in 2018, but tore his ACL in his first practice, ending his stint with the team.

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