Former NFL player Justin Bannan found guilty on all counts in 2019 shooting


DENVER (KDVR) – A jury has found former NFL player Justin Bannan guilty on all counts in his 2019 shooting of a woman in Boulder, according to the attorney for the victim, Stewart Cables.

Bannan, who last played for the Detroit Lions in 2013, was charged on Friday with the following: attempted first-degree murder after deliberation; attempted first-degree murder with extreme indifference; first-degree assault causing serious bodily injury with a deadly weapon; first-degree assault with extreme indifference; possession of a weapon on school grounds; and four sentence enhancements for crimes of violence.

Bannan had previously entered a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity.

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In 2019, Bannan was inside a building in Boulder, Colorado, that housed his business when he shot a woman, referred to as Ashley Marie in court, who worked at another business in the same building. At the time, police said the former NFL player shot the 36-year-old in the shoulder because he thought the Russian mafia was after him, according to accusations in court documents.

Bannan was accused of waiting inside a room and shooting the woman as she opened a door after arriving at work.

“He’s got his rolled up $20 bill with presumptive positive cocaine on him in his pocket at the time of his arrest,” Adrian Van Nice, with the Boulder County District Attorney’s office, said.

Prosecutors brought out evidence Friday, including two handguns they say Bannan had in a duffle bag, and a $20 bill they say had cocaine on it, collected during his arrest. They also presented evidence of the double dose of Adderall they said he took the day of the shooting.

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Bannan’s defense team argued that his lengthy football career and concussions led to a mental condition that produces paranoid thoughts. Bannan had been active in the NFL between 2002 and 2013, playing for the Buffalo Bills, Baltimore Ravens, Denver Broncos, St. Louis Rams and Detroit Lions.

“Think of gladiators in Roman times, they cheered for them and they are great but when they are done they historically fed them to the lions,” Harvey Steinberg, Bannan’s attorney, said. “The science tells you his mind, his brain is defective, and the law says because of that you must find him not guilty by reason of insanity.”

Van Nice and the prosecution rebuked this argument. The state also wanted the jury to remember the victim.

“This case is about a woman who got up in the morning, got ready for work, played with her daughter, drove to what would be her office, a place of healing, opened the door and found her life changed forever,” Van Nice said.

“[Ashley Marie] said she saw him saying ‘they are chasing me the Russians are after me,'” Steinberg said. “Sick brain.”

Bannan’s sentencing hearing is scheduled for November.


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