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Jalen Carter charged with misdemeanors in traffic death near Georgia campus

The Georgia defensive lineman and projected first round draft selection is currently in Indianapolis for the NFL Combine.

Bulldogs defensive lineman Jalen Carter against the TCU Horned Frogs during the CFP national championship game at SoFi Stadium. Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

3/2 Update: Carter was booked on the misdemeanor charges at 11:33 p.m. ET on Wednesday and was released after posting a bond at 11:49 p.m. ET. The defensive tackle is already back in Indianapolis to finish out his team interviews, measurements and remaining activities, per Adam Schefter.

3/1 Update: Carter released a statement addressing the misdemeanors presented against him. He says he will return to Athens to ensure the “complete and accurate truth is presented.” Carter also says he expects to be “fully exonerated of any criminal wrongdoing” when the investigation concludes. This also explains why he left the Combine before addressing any of the media.

Georgia Bulldogs defensive tackle Jalen Carter has been charged with reckless driving and racing in Athens-Clarke County, Georgia. The misdemeanor charges come in connection with events on the morning of January 15 that led to the death of a former teammate and a recruiting department staff member.

Offensive lineman Devin Willock, 20 and recruiting department member Chandler LeCroy, 24, were killed around 2:45 a.m. the morning of January 15. LeCroy was the driver of one vehicle, while Willock was a passenger. Willock died as the scene of the crash on Barnett Shoals Road, while LeCroy passed away at the hospital from her injuries.

Carter was questioned by police after the incident and told them he was “nearly a mile away” when the accident happened. However, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution is now reporting Carter’s story changed.

At first, Jalen Carter told the police he was nearly a mile away when a University of Georgia teammate and a football staff member died in a car crash.

Later, Carter said he had been following the car when it wrecked, close enough to see its taillights.

And, at one point, he acknowledged he was alongside the other car, whose speedometer stuck on impact at 83 mph — double the speed limit.

The AJC is reporting Carter left the scene before police or emergency medical workers arrived and returned an hour and a half later. The newspaper reviewed documents that showed a “shifting” account of where he was. The accident was originally reported as a single-car crash, but these latest developments point to street racing. The police obtained footage from city-owned surveillance cameras and “from at least one business owner”, but have not yet released the videos.

Carter is currently in Indianapolis for the NFL Combine. He is projected to be a high first round pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, and is ranked as the No. 1 player at his position by most evaluations.

10:54 a.m. update: Carter was at the Combine on Tuesday and met with teams that evening, but has departed Indianapolis and will not attend the media session planned for Wednesday morning, per Cole Thompson.