Former Ballou High School football player pleads guilty in shooting death of girlfriend

A former D.C. high school football player, who made headlines after questions of his residency and school eligibility came into question, is awaiting sentencing for his role in the death of his girlfriend.

Former Ballou High School football player Jamal Speaks, of Palmer Park, Maryland, pleaded guilty on Monday to involuntary manslaughter and obstruction of justice, a spokesman for the Prince George’s County State’s Attorney’s Office said.

Last April, Speaks, then 19, was playing with a gun he had purchased illegally when he fired it one time and struck 18-year-old Saniyah Floyd, police said. She died from a single gunshot wound.

Witnesses initially told police that Floyd shot herself inside the Fort Washington home, but the medical examiner later determined that was not possible and ruled the case a homicide.

Investigators said it was Speaks who fired the weapon, then placed the gun in Floyd’s hand to make it appear as if she had shot herself.

In a deal with prosecutors, pleading guilty to the two charges allowed him to avoid two weapons charges on which he was also indicted. He will be sentenced this coming April.

Speaks made headlines before the shooting for his fight to play football for Ballou High School in D.C. after the school ruled him ineligible to play because he was homeless. He would later get a full scholarship to Temple University in Pennsylvania to play football there, according to CBS news.

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