Police arrest ex-Miami teammate Rashaun Jones in 2006 murder of Bryan Pata

Police arrest ex-Miami teammate Rashaun Jones in 2006 murder of Bryan Pata

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Fifteen years after the murder of star Miami defensive lineman Bryan Pata, one of his ex-teammates has been arrested in the case. Former Hurricanes defensive back Rashaun Jones was arrested and charged with first-degree murder Thursday in Marion County, Florida, after long being regarded as a suspect, the Miami-Dade Police Department announced.

Pata played defensive tackle for Miami from 2003 to 2006 and was in his fourth season with the program when he was killed outside of his apartment after a football practice. The Miami native and run-stuffer was just 22 and projected to be selected in the 2007 NFL Draft when he was shot in a manner that was described as “execution style.”

Jones and Pata had been in fights before the killing, according to ESPN, and Jones had previously dated the woman Pata was seeing at the time of his death. The arrest of Jones, 35, could bring closure to a case that had grown cold.

Because of Pata’s visibility as a Miami football player, his murder made national headlines and remained a case of interest in South Florida for years. Pata’s family pleaded in 2017 for help in finding the killer.

Pata was remembered at the time by his brother, Edwin Pata as “charismatic, funny, energetic.”

“He was a big piece to our nine-sibling family,” Pata said. Another brother, Edrick Pata, said “people know what happened to Brian but they’re just not saying anything.”

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