Kellen Winslow Jr. requests 14-year prison sentence be reduced due to ‘physical trauma’ from football
Kellen Winslow Jr., a former Pro Bowler for the Browns, is not up for parole until 2028. (Hayne Palmour/San Diego Union-Tribune via AP, Pool, File)
Content Warning: This post contains references to rape and sexual assault.
Former NFL tight end Kellen Winslow Jr. has asked to have his sentence reduced to 14 years in prison, arguing that the physical trauma he suffered while playing football entitles him to a shorter stint behind bars under a new law in California, according to Brent Schrotenboer of the USA Today. .
Winslow reportedly filed a handwritten habeas corpus petition in November from a state prison in Tehachapi, Calif., and is representing himself without an attorney.
The former Cleveland Browns first-round draft pick and Pro Bowler received his 14-year sentence in March 2021 under a plea deal that saw Winslow convicted of rape by force, rape of an unconscious person, assault with intent to rape, indecent exposure and embarrassment. behavior in public. He originally faced life in prison.
Why Kellen Winslow Jr. Thinks He Should Get Out of Prison Early
The petition reportedly argues that Winslow’s trauma from football played a role in the offenses that landed him in prison and is currently not eligible for parole until July 2028:
“The claimant alleges that he suffered physical trauma as a result of mild traumatic brain injury (sic) disorder, as well as potentially CTE. and that trauma was a contributing factor in the commission of the offense,” Winslow wrote by hand, referring to chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a disease associated with head trauma in football. “Petitioner now seeks a remand for resentencing pursuant to AB 124. Petitioner argues because physical trauma contributed to the offenses … the court should impose the lowest term (of sentencing considerations).
The bill Winslow refers to, Assembly Bill 124, was signed into law by California Gov. Gavin Newsom in 2021. According to USA Today, the bill was intended to help criminal defendants who have previously experienced “psychological, physical trauma or childhood, including, but not limited to, abuse, neglect, exploitation, or sexual violence,” requiring that such matters be considered during plea bargaining, sentencing, or re-sentencing.
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Winslow’s attorneys reportedly made a similar argument during his sentencing, claiming he had potentially suffered more than 1,000 blows to the head during his football career, as well as head trauma from a motorcycle accident in 2005. He still received a sentence of 14 years.
The San Diego County District Attorney’s office reportedly said it had not yet received Winslow’s petition but would consider it whenever it arrives:
“We have not received Mr. Winslow’s habeas,” San Diego County District Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Tanya Sierra said. “Once it is received we will evaluate it for the next steps. We believe Winslow received a fair trial and sentence for this serious sexual assault case. We will review everything, but with justice for the victims at the forefront of our review.”
In an earlier petition, Winslow also reportedly asked the court to waive an injunction against him leaving California while on parole, as he wants to move to Florida, where he attended college in Miami, to begin a coaching career.
How Kellen Winslow Jr got his 14 year prison sentence
The 14-year sentence was the result of a years-long legal battle after Winslow was accused of multiple rapes and sexual offenses committed against five women in Southern California. He was originally convicted in 2019 of raping a 58-year-old homeless woman in San Diego, but the jury was deadlocked on six other crimes.
Winslow subsequently pleaded guilty to raping an unconscious 17-year-old woman in 2003 and sexually assaulting a 54-year-old hitchhiker in 2018 and later revised the plea deal in a way that set his maximum sentence in 14 years. taken.