Former Buccaneers player De’von Hall has been arrested and accused of murdering his mother, but now the family is blaming the NFL for the whole thing.
Hall, who played with several teams before washing out after only a single season in 2009, was arrested in July and accused of the murder of his mother, Alecia Benson. He is being held on a $1 million bond in Los Angeles.
Police say that Hall, 29, stomped his mother to death after an argument turned violent in April at her Los Angeles home. Benson took Hall into her home after he became homeless.
Official 911 records reveal a call by Brandeis Eubanks, who told police that Hall had just beaten the elderly woman who he saw lying, bleeding on the ground, the Los Angeles Times reported.
“He hit her. He stomped her out,” Eubanks told the 911 dispatcher. “They got in a tussling match and next thing you know she was on the ground, and he was stomping her out.”
Hall had apparently been turning more violent since he left the NFL. In fact, his cousin, Angela Benson-Williams, told CBS that his transformation was “like a switch that had gone off.” She added, “I didn’t recognize my cousin anymore.”
Indeed, Hall’s family is now blaming the NFL itself for the situation leading to the murder and Hall’s arrest.
His family now insists that the NFL ignored Hall’s obvious descent into mental illness and did nothing to help him get treatment.
“He turned into something that became vicious,” Hall’s uncle, Tony Benson, said, “And that was the sport he was in. The more vicious, the more accolades you get.”
“The NFL, in my opinion, should’ve done a better job in making sure they took care of this kid,” Benson added in a conversation with the Times.
Family members are also saying they aren’t sure if the ex-player even understands that his mother is now dead.
Hall’s public defender also feels that the suspect may not be mentally competent to stand trial.
Others warn that jail will make his mental illness worse.
“If he’s in jail with the regular population, he’s going to end up getting killed or killing someone else,” former college classmate Dionte Holloway, said. “De’von, mentally is gone. That’s not the De’von I know, that’s not the De’von I went to school with, that’s not my friend, that’s somebody who was out of their mind.”
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at email@example.com.