Police say Pacman paid 'extortion' cash in Vegas shooting

Updated: April 22, 2008, 4:44 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

LAS VEGAS -- Adam "Pacman" Jones paid "extortion" money to a 29-year-old man arrested for a Las Vegas strip club shooting that left a club employee paralyzed, police said.

Arvin Kenti Edwards, of Renton, Wash., allegedly used go-betweens to reach Jones, who paid $15,000 in two installments after the shooting, according to a police report obtained Monday.

"He paid $15,000 to his friends, who advised him that if he didn't pay the money then this guy would come after him," said Robert Langford, Jones' lawyer in Las Vegas.

Jones, 24, went to Seattle on Friday and picked Edwards from a police lineup, Langford said. He said Jones identified Edwards as the man who opened fire with a handgun a little before 5 a.m. Feb. 19, 2007, outside the strip club during the NBA's All-Star Weekend.

Jones' agent, Manny Arora, told ESPN's Ed Werder that he does not believe the latest developments in the case will affect Jones' efforts to win reinstatement to the NFL or secure a trade from the Tennessee Titans.

"The facts of the case support our position," Arora said. "While we are grateful the person has been caught and that the victims' families will receive justice, it is a double-edged sword for us because this again puts us in the media, and the media has not always been kind to us, regardless of what the facts show."

Michael Irvin reported on his radio show on ESPN in Dallas on Tuesday that Jones told him that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell was informed of this latest development, so it should not come as a surprise.

Arora added: "We have had many meetings with the league and we have responded to every question and kept them abreast of information."

Police have not provided details of the investigation that led to Edwards' arrest Friday on three counts of attempted murder with a weapon and three counts of battery with substantial bodily harm, all felonies. He was not sought on an extortion charge.

Edwards was being held on charges unrelated to the Las Vegas case at the Yakima County Correctional Facility in Washington pending a Wednesday extradition hearing.

Jail authorities have not said whether Edwards has a lawyer.

Las Vegas police said Jones met briefly with Edwards after a brawl led Jones and his entourage to be ejected from the Minxx strip club several blocks off the Las Vegas Strip. The two men parted, according to witnesses, and shots were fired moments later toward the club.

About a week later, someone began contacting Jones by telephone seeking money for "services rendered," according to the police report filed to obtain Edwards' arrest warrant.

Police alleged in the documents that one of the go-betweens told Jones that if he refused to pay, the accused shooter would "go after Jones, his mother and daughter."

A childhood friend also contacted Jones, urging him to pay the money, the document said.

In April and early May, Jones had a friend wire $3,800 to a woman in Seattle. He put up $11,200 more for a friend in Atlanta to pay "in his behalf," police said.

Throughout the warrant declaration police repeatedly refer to extortion and "extortion monies," and say Jones told investigators he withdrew $10,000 from a bank account in Atlanta to pay his friend "for paying the extortion money in his behalf."

Jones pleaded no contest Dec. 6 in Las Vegas to conspiracy to commit disorderly conduct in a plea deal that reduced two felony charges of coercion, which each carried a possible sentence of one to six years in prison.

In return, he agreed to tell police what he knew about the gunman. Jones never acknowledged any role in the shooting.

Police alleged Jones incited the brawl inside the club by showering strippers with cash and then became angry when the women picked up the money.

Jones was suspended for the 2007 season for his role in the Las Vegas incident and other misconduct off the field. The sixth pick in the 2005 draft has been arrested six times since being drafted. His status for the 2008 season remains unclear, although Goodell has said he will consider reinstating Jones.

Langford denied Edwards' arrest had any connection with Jones' efforts to be reinstated by the NFL.

"Adam has been cooperating for a long time," he said. "The declaration of warrant accurately reports a long and thorough investigation."

The three people wounded in the shooting -- club employees Tommy Urbanski and Aaron Cudworth and club patron Natalie Jones -- have each have filed civil lawsuits seeking damages from Jones.

The lawsuit by Urbanski, who was paralyzed from the waist down, also seeks damages from the NFL, the Titans and the owners of Harlem Knights, a Houston strip club that hosted events at the Minxx club. A state court judge dropped the charges against the Titans. The case is pending in federal court in Las Vegas.

ESPN NFL reporter Ed Werder, ESPN.com NFL writer Matt Mosley and The Associated Press contributed to this report.