JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Ex-NFL player Jabar Gaffney learned Thursday jury selection in the felony case against him is scheduled to begin in less than two months.
As the I-TEAM first reported last summer, Gaffney is charged with felony criminal mischief, accused of vandalizing the car of his former high school and college teammate Lito Sheppard on Father's Day -- causing at least $14,000 in damage.
During a scheduled hearing Thursday morning -- that took just 51 seconds from the moment Gaffney's name was called -- the Duval County judge set May 14 for Gaffney's final pretrial hearing and then May 20 for jury selection to begin.
The investigation against Gaffney began in late June after Sheppard contacted Jacksonville Beach Police to report his white BMW had been vandalized.
Sheppard told the I-TEAM he had no idea anything had happened to his car while he was celebrating Father's Day with his wife at a Jacksonville Beach restaurant the night of June 17 -- until it stalled as he was leaving.
After learning from his dealership that his car had been intentionally damaged, Sheppard watched surveillance video that showed what had happened. A black Audi pulls up to his parked car with a female driver and a male passenger. The man in the video appears to pour something into Sheppard's gas tank and the woman appears to slash his four tires.
According to the police report, Sheppard told investigators he believed Gaffney was the man seen in that surveillance video.
On July 5, an arrest warrant was issued for Gaffney with the investigating detective noting separate surveillance video obtained from the same night Sheppard's car was vandalized. The warrant states the separate video shows Gaffney leaving the neighborhood where he lived in the same kind of black Audi seen in the Jacksonville Beach surveillance video with a female driver.
After turning himself in to police, Gaffney was freed on a $30,000 bond.