Is Brandon Marshall Responsible for the Murder of Former Teammate Darrent Williams?

brandon marshall.jpg
Brandon Marshall may have been the intended target of the fatal bullet.
Last week's issue of Sports Illustrated featured an incredible story by senior writer Thomas Lake, about the mysterious 2007 murder of Denver Broncos defensive back Darrent Williams. The story chronicles Williams' last night alive, a New Year's Eve he spent in Denver with friends and teammates. One of those teammates was a man many think was the intended target of the fatal bullets, Brandon Marshall, now of the Miami Dolphins.

Marshall did not comment for the article, though his various accounts of that evening are detailed thoroughly. His story has changed periodically over time, but at one point Marshall told a police officer that if he didn't "act rowdy," Williams would probably still be alive.

SI cover Williams murder.jpg
That night clearly stayed with Marshall too. He told a prosecutor, "I think about every night." Seeing his teammate murdered affected Marshall's perception of the entire city of Denver. From Lake's story:

"Ten months later Denver police stopped him for allegedly driving drunk and going the wrong way on a one-way street. On the way to the drunk tank, according to an officer's report, Marshall said, 'Why ain't you guys out looking for Williams's killer? I hate Denver. I hope I get traded. I hate this f------ city.' Last year Marshall finally got his wish, escaping Denver to play for the Dolphins nearly 2,000 miles away."

The story shows how a disgruntled Denver gangster had several encounters with the group of football players throughout the night, interacting several times with Marshall and his cousin, Blair Clark. Marshall told prosecutors that he tried several times to make peace with the man known as Little Willie, offering to buy him drinks twice that night. Outside the club, witnesses saw Marshall's cousin push Little Willie into the snow. Not long after, the gangster was seen in surveillance footage, rushing to his car, probably to get his gun.

Lake, a regular in the Best American Sports Writing anthology, writes of the murder:

"You would not be wrong to call the murder of Darrent Williams a simple case of mistaken identity. The evidence suggests that Little Willie meant to open fire on Marshall's limousine -- that he thought the white Hummer was Marshall's limousine. The trial judge found this a likely explanation, and so did Marshall when he talked to the police. While educated guesses can be made about how this knowledge affected Marshall (an ESPN report showed he had some 12 encounters with police in the 27 months after the shooting, most of them domestic disturbances), it didn't stop him from becoming a superstar. Darrent Williams's friends believed Williams was destined for the Pro Bowl. Brandon Marshall went instead, and last year he signed a five-year deal with the Dolphins worth more than $47 million."

The murderer was sentenced to 1,152 years in prison. Marshall led the Dolphins in receiving last year.
 

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10 comments
Cjgancarz
Cjgancarz

why blame marshall while he admits he could have walked away his cousin pushing and embarrasingthe guy clearly pushed him over the edge

Bap1346
Bap1346

I totally agree with John and Gerald. Guns don't kill, murderers do. As a matter of fact, if more people had guns that night at the night club, with the alcohol and the violence, there would probably be fewer people dead. They should string this guy up and let us good, God-fearing, honest, law-abiding Americans shoot holes in his testicles like we deserve to. And while we're at it, someone should do the same thing to "Guest" for being so stupid. Yeah, get rid of all the guns from all the cops and let drug dealers and black people run everything! I'm sure that will work. That's why we have so many gun laws right now, so we can tell who is law-abiding and who isn't, so you should be happy we have them! I really hope someone shoots holes in your testicles just for saying that God damned stupid stuff.

Finsfan99
Finsfan99

Just a sad state of affairs. It just goes to show you most things that happen bad have gangs and drinking after hours somehow involved..

John
John

Once again it seems we miss the real point, Brandon Marshall didn't kill Williams, a gun didn't kill Williams.. Little Willie (and I'm sorry, but you really have to wonder about that nickname) killed Williams. So now he is sentenced to 1,152 years in prison. He will live out maybe 60 of those years. Not counting inflation, at $40,000/year of tax payers money we are talking over one million tax dollars spent (provided he makes it at least 25 years, I'm hoping not) How about you give me some shooting practice... 10 45ACP rounds to the head and chest and I'm out what... five bucks? Ok, so that is a bit drastic, but Williams life is over and he didn't do anything to deserve it.

guest
guest

You read much? Clearly nobody is saying that. But a lot of people ARE saying that if Brandon Marshall were a better person, Darrent Williams would still be alive. And that's sad, and it's sad this young man has to live with that in his past.

weemoose
weemoose

Are you trying to say Brandon Marshall did what he did on purpose??? That he set it up so Darrent would be killed and he would go on to fame and fortune???

Guest
Guest

Beg to differ on the gun part. Had Little Willie thrown a chair, it probably wouldn't have killed anyone.

Gerald
Gerald

A gun does not kill anybody. It's the person behind the gun that kills. To drive the point home place a loaded gun on a kitchen table and stare at it. The gun will do nothing because it is an inanimate object. Sadly Darrent Williams was murdered by Little Willie who was rightfully convicted.

broncofan
broncofan

Hey guest in reply to Gerald, that is the most rediculous reply you could make. Just get rid of guns and the outlaws and thugs who have them will be very happy people.

guest
guest

As an example of how many people guns (controlled by people, some of them children, some of them gangsters) kill every year, eliminate them and count how many people get shot. It will be zero, because it is impossible to fatally shoot someone without a gun. There will still be plenty of murders to be sure, but the killers would have to want it quite a bit more.

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