The topic of head trauma or chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) developing from body contact sports such as pro football has been much discussed in world sports and sometimes, violent behaviors found among former NFL players are often blamed on the CTE.
However, Justin Bannan has set one bizarre example. The former defensive tackle, who retired from the sport in 2013, had shot a woman in Colorado back in 2019 and now blames his own action on head trauma.
Justin Bannan cited hydrocephalus as the reason for shooting Ashley Marie
In October 2019, Bannan was arrested on charges of first-degree murder attempt, assault, and burglary in a shooting that had taken place at Black Lab Sports in Boulder, Colorado.
A woman named Ashley Marie was the victim of the shooting. While she entered the coworking space for her acupuncture sessions, Marie was shot in her private treatment room by Bannan, who was hiding there and claimed that he was on the run from none other than the Russian mafia.
Marie, who is a former Colorado State basketball player sustained the gunshot wound in her right shoulder while Bannan had escaped from the rear exit. The police, however, quickly found the player sitting behind the building with his business partner O’Brien.
At the time of arrest, Bannan was in the possession of two .45 caliber handguns each with a round in his black backpack, along with holster and additional ammo and also a a rolled-up $20 bill which contained traces of cocaine.
Moments after he was apprehended, Bannan claimed to the police that he had hydrocephalus and stated that he was being followed. Since he was put behind bars at a Boulder County jail on multiple felony charges, the 42-year-old has pleaded not guilty, citing CTE as the reason behind his violent behaviors.
Bannan’s attorney Harvey Steinberg also stated that his client was in need of “brain surgery”, claiming he sustained around 25 concussions throughout his NFL career. “Our position is what took place here is clearly a result of traumatic brain injury,” Steinberg had said. (H/T InsideHook)
Bannan’s trial is set to begin in June and if convicted on all charges, he will face up to 50 years in prison.
A 2002 fifth round draft pick out of Colorado, Justin Bannan made his NFL debut with the Buffalo Bills, when the team executive Dwight Adams described the young player as “a square-bodied old boy that’s tough as hell and will give you a hard day’s work.”