Lawyer: Brandon Meriweather innocent

Updated: March 21, 2011, 5:34 PM ET
ESPNBoston.com

The lawyer for New England Patriots safety Brandon Meriweather said Monday that he has delivered witness statements that show his client should not be a suspect in a shooting.

"We have confirmed that Brandon was nothing but a peace-keeper," Fort Lauderdale attorney Adam Swickle told the Orlando Sentinel. "All of the witnesses confirmed that at no point did Brandon have a gun, or threaten to shoot, and did not shoot anyone."

The 27-year-old player was at the shooting in the early morning hours of Feb. 28 in Apopka, Fla., Orange County Sheriff's department spokesman Capt. Angelo Nieves said March 10.

Nieves said 24-year-old Quentin Taylor and 23-year-old Nico Stanley were both injured. Taylor was shot in the face and Stanley was grazed by a bullet.

Swickle told the newspaper that his investigator, Robert Crispin, spoke to at least one witness who identified another man as having a gun before the shooting. He did not identify the person to the newspaper but said he has a lengthy criminal record and that information was passed on to police.

"An attorney met with investigators today and provided them with several witness statements," Nieves said, according to the Sentinel. "Some of those individuals have also been interviewed by Orange County deputies."

Nieves told the newspaper that police are not ready to make an arrest or charge anyone with the shooting.

"We are not ready to characterize him [Meriweather] in any other fashion," Nieves said, according to the newspaper. "The investigation is continuing to move forward."

According to multiple media reports, the shooting occurred at a residence in Apopka. Citing Sheriff's Department records, the Orlando Sentinel reported that the location of the shooting was West 17th Street and South Central Avenue. Meriweather graduated from Apopka High School in 2002 and played college football at the University of Miami. He was drafted in first round of the 2007 draft by the Patriots and completed his fourth NFL season in 2010.

John Morgan, the lawyer for Taylor and Stanley, told multiple media outlets earlier this month that the two men claim that Meriweather was the shooter. They claim to have gone to high school with Meriweather. Morgan said he had just met the men and was not jumping to conclusions.

"I don't know if it happened or not," he said, according to the Sentinel. "I am presuming [Meriweather] innocent until proven guilty."

And he told WEEI Radio in Boston that he wasn't convinced Meriweather was the shooter.

"I have a lot of doubt about that," Morgan said. "That's what these fellas told me. But I don't assume that to be true at all. I assume nothing to be true until we get an investigation completed."

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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