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Robbery Charges Dropped Against Former New York Giant DeAndre Baker After Alleged Victims’ Lawyer Accused Of Extortion
South Florida lawyer William Dean allegedly solicited cash payments for three of the men who had initially accused DeAndre Baker of theft.
Prosecutors dismissed armed robbery charges against former New York Giants defensive back DeAndre Baker on Monday after the attorney for the alleged victims was accused of extortion.
William Dean, 50, a South Florida lawyer representing a group of men who claimed Baker robbed them during a dice game at a barbecue in May, was arrested earlier this week, according to the Broward County State Attorney's Office.
The four armed robbery charges Baker was facing have since been dropped, prosecutors said.
"We feel as if justice has FINALLY been served for DeAndre," Baker's defense lawyer Patrick G. Patel said in a statement, according to CNN. "All along I have been guaranteeing a dismissal and said unequivocally that this was an extortion case. We thank the Broward County (Prosecutor's) office for doing what co counsel, Brad Cohen and I have been demanding from day one!"
Baker, along with Seattle Seahawks cornerback, Quinton Dunbar, had been accused of using a gun to stick up a group of four men while gambling on May 13, according to a probable cause statement. The victims had claimed the pair of NFL stars fled the party in luxury sports cars, escaping with more than $60,000 of designer jewelry and more than $12,000 in cash.
Charges against Dunbar, however, never materialized after prosecutors cited “insufficient evidence,” CNN reported.
Dean, the Florida attorney, allegedly tabled an offer to Baker, requesting $266,000 for three of the four victims, who in exchange, were prepared to alter their testimony and do "anything you want, so long as the money is right," according to ESPN.
"The alleged victims and the known witnesses have become uncooperative and their credibility is inalterably tarnished," assistant state attorney Paul R. Valcore said in a statement.
The three victims also recanted their sworn statements, stating, “they did not get an accurate look at the events as they occurred, that Deandre Baker was present but not involved in any criminal act and that they were not robbed or assaulted," prosecutors said.
"The result is the correct result in dismissing DeAndre's case," Bradford Cohen, another attorney for Baker, said, according to ESPN. "We have been saying he was a victim of an extortion from day one.”
He previously described the alleged victims as “liars.”
“They are, at best, admitted liars and convicted felons,” he told ESPN in August. “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. 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."
Baker, 23, was drafted by the New York Giants in 2019. He’s currently a free agent, according to NBC Sports. However, a number of teams have reportedly approached the former Giants cornerback since the charges against him were tossed out, the New York Post reported Monday.
“I always had trust in my lawyers and I kept praying every day,” Baker told the Post. “I have a praying family. So I always knew I would get through this situation if we stayed honest with ourselves.”
The San Francisco 49ers, Dallas Cowboys, Jacksonville Jaguars, Kansas City Chiefs, and the Cincinnati Bengals "have made inquiries," about Baker, according to the newspaper.
“I can be a great guy in any locker room they put me in,” Baker added. “I never had a record in my life. I was never in any trouble in my life and still to this day I haven’t been in any trouble, up until this event. I don’t think I’m a risk to any team. I feel like I’m a benefit to any team right now.”
Dean was charged with extortion and threats. He’s being held at a Broward County detention center on a $10,000 bond, online jail records show.