Washington Commanders’ Deshazor Everett Charged With Involuntary Manslaughter in Girlfriend’s Death, What Does it Mean?

NFL: Player Headshots 2021
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Washington Commanders Safety Deshazor Everett has expressed his heartbreak on social media after the loss of his girlfriend in a horrible crash last December, where he was behind the wheel. Over the past two months, law enforcement has been examining evidence in connection with the accident to figure out what led up to it. Included in that evidence, was access to a black box that may have revealed how fast Everett was driving and information about how and when he tried to break while driving along a windy road in Loudon County, Virginia.

Initially, the police had issued the following details about the crash, writing:

“The driver of a 2010 Nissan GT-R was traveling north on Gum Spring Road near Ticonderoga Road when around 9:15 p.m. the vehicle left the right side of the roadway, struck several trees, and rolled over. The passenger, Olivia S. Peters, 29, of Las Vegas, Nevada was taken to StoneSprings Hospital where she succumbed to her injuries. The driver was taken to Reston Hospital Center where he is being treated for serious but non-life-threatening injuries.”

After the accident, Everett was placed on the NFL’s Injured/Reserve List, ending his season and was seen wearing a boot on his foot. Now, just short of two months after the accident, police have charged Everett with involuntary manslaughter in the death of his girlfriend. Essentially, this is an accusation that Everett caused her death. It does not mean that Everett intended to cause her death. In fact, it means the opposite. It means he is being accused of unintentionally causing her death (involuntary) through some sort of reckless or negligent act.

What could this mean? Several things. It could mean the black box showed he was speeding, it could mean he was under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the crash. Those are the two main factors typically. The speed or drugs or alcohol, if true in this case, would make him liable for the crash and therefore his girlfriend’s death. The accusation by police is that Everett killed his girlfriend.

In Virginia this is a Class 5 felony which could result in imprisonment of not less than one year nor more than 10 years in jail.

However, if it is found that Everett’s conduct was gross, wanton, and showed a reckless disregard for the life of his girlfriend (such as driving with an extremely high blood alcohol content), the maximum prison sentence could go to 20 years. Other possible penalties include losing his driver’s license and completing an alcohol safety program, probation and possible community service.

Everett could very well be released by the Commanders due to the severity of the charge, which has happened in the past. His attorney asked the public to reserve judgment and said the legal team will vigorously fight the charge. The Commanders said they would not comment at this time. An involuntary manslaughter charge which is an unintentional homicide charge would almost definitely land Everett on the Commissioner’s Exempt List until the case is decided and could also expose him to a civil lawsuit for wrongful death by the Victim’s family.