JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Attorneys for former football star Jabar Gaffney want more time to review evidence before his trial begins.
The ex-NFL player is accused of vandalizing the car of his former high school and college teammate Lito Sheppard on Father's Day last year.
Gaffney's trial on the felony criminal mischief charge is scheduled to begin in less than a week, but his attorney filed a motion Tuesday morning to push the trial start back. The motion indicates that prosecutors have agreed to the continuance.
Now a judge will decide if the trial will begin May 20 as scheduled or be moved back.
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. Gaffney says he is not the man in the video.
On July 5 last year, 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.
Last month, the state provided invoices showing the repair costs for the damage to Sheppard’s car were reduced from $14,000 to $7,770. This would reduce the amount of money prosecutors would want Gaffney to pay if he's found guilty. The motion also says the state has not provided any proof of how much of the repair bill was paid.
Last week, Gaffney sat down with News4Jax reporter Jenese Harris because he said he wanted to set the record straight. He again insisted that he is not the man in the surveillance video. He said his relationship with Sheppard had turned sour and he does not know why it changed. Gaffney said he believes he is misunderstood.