NFL Star was Beaten Before Psych Ward Death Says Family

The family of a onetime football prodigy who collapsed and died during a transfer from a Los Angeles county jail to a state-run psychiatric hospital earlier this year said on Tuesday they believe he was beaten by law enforcement officials prior to his death.

In court filings obtained by TMZ Sports, an attorney for the family accused Los Angeles County of “grossly misrepresenting the cause and circumstances of Stanley Wilson Jr.’s death.”

At a news conference on Tuesday, Wilson’s father said, “We just want the truth. It hurts really bad to bury your child.”

Stanley Wilson Jr. played for the Detroit Lions from 2005 to 2007 before tearing his Achilles tendon, an injury which ultimately cut short his career. His family described him as a charismatic and loving man whose life careened off the rails due to mental illness, including what they said was chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a degenerative brain disorder caused by repeated blows to the head that can only be diagnosed posthumously.

The disease may have contributed to Wilson’s becoming withdrawn, anxious, and depressed, the family said Tuesday, and to a string of arrests that ended in August 2022, when police took him into custody on a trespassing charge.

“Due to his mental illness, the county found him not able to stand trial, not able to provide assistance to counsel,” explained John Carpenter, the Los Angeles-based attorney representing the family. He was held in Twin Towers Correctional Facility until his death in early February during the move to Metropolitan State Hospital.

Wilson’s mother, Dr. D. Pulane Lucas, said that county officials told her that her son had fallen out of a chair during the mental health facility’s intake process. The family elected to conduct a second autopsy, with Carpenter telling The Daily Beast in mid-February, “Early reports said ‘no suspicion of foul play.’ That is not the camp that we’re in.”

Now, according to Carpenter, photos of Wilson’s body are in “stark contrast to what we’ve been hearing,” indicating he may have been subjected to excessive force prior to his death. “There were fresh wounds to his forehead, which appear to have been caused by a shoe,” the attorney said, suggesting Wilson had either been kicked or stomped.

Additionally, ligature marks on his wrists suggest that Wilson may have been restrained by handcuffs during the time of the alleged assault, Carpenter said.

The family is seeking more than $45 million in damages in relation to three claims filed on behalf of Wilson’s mother, father, and estate.

Leave a Reply

Powered by

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: