JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The I-TEAM has confirmed former football star Jabar Gaffney will avoid a criminal trial for now in the vandalism case against him.
Court documents show Gaffney -- who is accused of causing thousands of dollars in damage to the car of his former teammate Lito Sheppard last June -- has been accepted into the Felony Pre-trial intervention program.
While details of the requirements Gaffney must complete are not public, if he is successful in finishing that program, he will avoid a felony conviction.
Gaffney was charged last summer with felony criminal mischief after surveillance video showed Sheppard’s tires being slashed and something being poured into his gas tank in a parking lot in Jacksonville Beach.
Gaffney broke his silence last month, sitting down in an exclusive interview with the I-TEAM to claim his innocence in the vandalism case and to set the record straight regarding other allegations against him.
When we asked Gaffney about his relationship with Lito Sheppard, he insisted to the I-TEAM that he didn't have a grudge against his former high school and college teammate and said he was not the man seen in the surveillance video damaging Sheppard's car.
"I was with my kids. I was at church, and then I spent the rest of that day with my kids at the house. We were watching movies and we left to go to Popeye's which is just a couple of miles down the street from my house and came back. That's where I was -- with my family," Gaffney said.
Gaffney's arrest warrant obtained by the I-TEAM claims on June 17, 2018, the night of the vandalism, another surveillance camera -- one from the Jacksonville neighborhood where Gaffney was living -- captured Gaffney and a woman leaving the neighborhood in the same Audi spotted a short time later pulling up to Sheppard's BMW in Jax Beach.
Gaffney told us that wasn't him in the surveillance photos and said he doesn't know who the woman is.
"I have pictures of me on Father's Day showing what I look like. The guy in that picture, he looks like he had a haircut I have very long hair and again there's no tattoos and again the guy at the beach, it wasn't me," Gaffney told the I-TEAM.
The I-TEAM reached out to Lito Sheppard for comment on Gaffney's interview and Sheppard said, "I have nothing to comment about. I'll let him (Jabar Gaffney) proceed."