Former NFL defensive lineman Justin Bannan pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity on Thursday in the case of a shooting that wounded a woman in 2019, according to a report from KDVR in Denver.
Bannan, 41, had been arrested and charged with attempted first-degree murder, assault and burglary in October 2019 after allegedly shooting the woman, Ashley Marie, in the right shoulder in Boulder, Colorado.
Marie survived the shooting, and she’s suing Bannan for civil charges. Police called the shooting random, and Bannan is claiming that he accidentally discharged the weapon and did not target Marie.
Bannan and Marie reportedly were co-workers at Black Lab Sports, but the two did not know each other well.
An arrest affidavit from last year indicated that police recovered a rolled-up $20 bill Bannan was carrying when he was arrested, which contained a powdery residue that later tested positive for cocaine.
He also reportedly told police at the time of his arrest that he believed the Russian mafia was following him and that he got rid of his cellphone because he thought someone was tracking him through it.
Bannan is now required to undergo a mental health evaluation at a Colorado state hospital.
According to the report, Bannan said he suffers from hydrocephalus, a condition the Mayo Clinic describes as the buildup of fluid in ventricles deep within the brain, which can cause the ventricles to increase in size and put pressure on the brain. Symptoms of it include irritability, personality change and “decline in memory, concentration and other thinking skills.”
In an 11-year NFL career, Bannan played for the Buffalo Bills, Baltimore Ravens, Denver Broncos, St. Louis Rams and Detroit Lions. The Bills drafted him in Round 5 in 2002 out of Colorado, where he was named first-team All-Big 12 in 2001.
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