Terreal Michael Bierria
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UPDATE: Bierria had quit football to help rescue family members from Hurricane Katrina. More details after the jump...
Terreal Michael Bierria
Former Seahawks player Terreal Michael Bierria, 29, has been arrested on one count of first degree murder after a violent struggle in a New Orleans suburb left one man dead. St. Tammany's parish deputies in Slidell booked Bierria after he placed himself at the apartment where authorities found 29-year-old Soron Salter dead.
When they arrived on the scene deputies found the front door partially opened with blood smeared on it and Salter on the floor behind the door. Investigators say Salter had wounds that indicated a violent struggle. Witnesses told police that a gray Cadillac had been parked at the scene until just a few minutes before they arrived.
A half hour after finding Salter, doctors at the North Shore Hospital contacted the Sheriff's Office to report an ER patient with knife wounds to his hands and arms. The patient was identified as Bierria, who had driven himself to the hospital in a gray Cadillac.
Bierria was drafted out of Georgia by the Seahawks with the 120th pick of the 2002 draft. The safety last played in the NFL in 2004, when he registered 69 tackles and one pick for Seattle.
UPDATE: Police say Bierria and Salter were friends and teammates at Salmen High School. And drugs were recovered from the scene of the crime.
"There were drugs recovered from the residence," Captain George Bonnett told Daily Weekly when reached by phone. "The Sheriff won't say the type or amount, but we did seize a certain quantity of narcotics."
Bonnett also spoke to the possible cause of Salter's death.
"It was a violent struggle," he says. "There were apparently some stab wounds suffered by the victim and possibly strangling. But until we get the coroner's report we won't be certain about that."
UPDATE: ESPN.com reporter Jemele Hill says she's shocked by the charges. When she wrote a story about Bierria's choice to leave the NFL two years ago, he was living in a four-bedroom Houston home he'd bought for him and 19 of his relatives.
Hill writes: "If you'd asked me last week which athletes were most likely to be arrested for a serious crime, Bierria wouldn't have made my top 100 -- although when I wrote the initial story, I was unaware he had previously been arrested for drug distribution and drunk driving.
The last time I spoke with Bierria, it was clear that rescuing his family had changed him. He had an uncle who died in a San Antonio hospital after spending days on a bridge in New Orleans, and it meant a lot to Bierria that he was able to see him before he passed. In the wake of the storm, Bierria lived with 20 of his family members in that four-bedroom home he purchased in Houston. And even though his agent was calling him almost daily, telling him about NFL teams that were interested, Bierria chose to stay in Houston with his family...
I'm not telling you this because I want you to have sympathy for Bierria. If he did what he's being accused of, he should be severely punished.
Just allow me to be surprised he's in this situation."