New York Giants cornerback DeAndre Baker will be prosecuted in Florida on four counts of robbery with a firearm, Broward State Attorney Mike Satz announced Friday. If convicted, Baker faces a mandatory minimum of 10 years and up to life in state prison.
Baker originally was charged with four counts of armed robbery and four counts of aggravated assault with a firearm. The decision to prosecute came almost three months after an incident in Miramar, Florida.
According to the original arrest warrant, Baker and Seattle Seahawks cornerback Quinton Dunbar were accused of stealing money and watches while armed with semiautomatic firearms. The warrant stated that Baker intentionally threatened victims with a firearm.
Baker’s lawyer Bradford Cohen didn’t think the prosecutor’s office had enough to go through with the case.
“Knowing that you have admitted liars — admitted liars, there is no way to cut around it or change the story. They are, at best, admitted liars and convicted felons. You have four guys that are convicted felons and admitted liars. You filed based on their word against a guy that has no criminal history, always gives back to his community,” Cohen told ESPN. “I wish I could think what they’re thinking but it’s an impossibility. It’s such bad judgment that you can’t even put yourself into their shoes to imagine what he was thinking to file this case.”
Broward prosecutors declined to file criminal charges against Dunbar because of insufficient evidence.
“Quinton is gratified,” Dunbar’s attorney, Andrew Rier told ESPN on Friday. “He thanks God. He thanks his family. He thanks his defense team and he thanks the Seahawks for sticking with him the whole time.”
“I think [the decision] speaks for itself,” Rier added. “I think they did not have enough information to proceed, and they came to the just conclusion, and I appreciate the time and effort that they put into it to come to this conclusion.”
Dunbar could still face a suspension based on recent NFL precedent. The league suspended Seahawks defensive tackle Jarran Reed six games last year over a 2017 incident in which he was not arrested or charged due to insufficient evidence.
Baker and Dunbar were placed on the commissioner’s exempt list at the start of training camp. Baker had been told to stay away from the Giants’ virtual offseason program this spring. The Seahawks, however, had Dunbar participate.
Baker, 22, is unlikely to play another down for the Giants. He was a first-round pick last year out of the University of Georgia. The Giants traded up for Baker despite at least two teams telling ESPN last spring that there were red flags about him. He then had a rocky rookie year: Two players described Baker as a “handful” last year, and he was benched late in the season after then-coach Pat Shurmur called him out in front of the entire team for a lack of effort.
The Seahawks acquired Dunbar for a fifth-round pick in a March trade with Washington. Dunbar is scheduled to make $3.25 million in base salary with another $250,000 available in per-game roster bonuses in the final year of his contract, none of which is guaranteed.
According to the arrest warrant affidavit, multiple witnesses said that at one point during the incident, Baker ordered another suspect wearing a red mask to shoot an individual who was just entering the party.
The case has taken twists and turns since. The witnesses quickly signed affidavits changing their original story, and the New York Daily News reported that a search warrant indicated that a witness in the alleged robbery oversaw a payoff to the victims at the office of former Dunbar attorney Michael Grieco.
The league has said in recent weeks that the matter remains under review.
Asked about the NFL’s position on Dunbar in light of Friday’s news, a league spokesperson said, “We have been monitoring all developments in the matter which remains under review.”
Baker and Dunbar are not known to have any previous criminal history.
ESPN’s Brady Henderson contributed to this report.