Former Temple football recruit charged with murder

Police say Jamal Speaks accidentally shot and killed his girlfriend and staged it as a self-inflicted wound.

Jamal Speaks, a former Temple football recruit, was charged with the murder of his girlfriend, Saniyah Floyd. | VIA PRINCE GEORGE COUNTY POLICE

Former Temple University football recruit Jamal Speaks tried to frame his girlfriend’s death as a suicide after accidentally shooting her, according to the Prince George’s County Police Department in Maryland. 

Speaks has been charged with first-degree murder, second-degree murder, illegal weapons charges and assault charges for the death of his girlfriend, Saniyah Floyd, 18. 

Speaks, 19, allegedly illegally purchased a gun and had been “playing” with it on April 7, the night of the incident, police said. He fired a bullet that struck and killed Floyd around 10:30 p.m. then placed the gun in Floyd’s hand to make it appear like a self-inflicted gunshot wound, according to Friday’s police press release.

Authorities pronounced Floyd dead at the scene.

Witnesses told first responders Floyd accidentally shot herself, but the medical examiner ruled her death a homicide, police said. 

Speaks later allegedly admitted his involvement in the alleged shooting. He is currently being held by the Prince George’s County Department of Corrections without bond. 

“There’s been no evidence discovered at this time that Speaks intended to kill her,” Christina Cotterman, a Prince George’s County police spokeswoman, told the Washington Post. 

Speaks announced he received a scholarship offer from former coach Geoff Collins on Twitter on May 27, 2018. He later verbally committed to the university, but Speaks never signed a National Letter of Intent with the program during national signing periods in December and February. 

Speaks attended Ballou STAY Opportunity Academy in Washington, D.C. A regulation temporarily prevented him from playing football for the school in September because he didn’t have a residential address in Washington, D.C. Covenant House Greater Washington, which helps people aged 18-24 experiencing homelessness, helped him find housing to make him eligible to play under D.C. public school rules.

He played his freshman season at Ballou and part of his sophomore season before D.C. Public Schools ruled him ineligible, causing him to miss his junior season.

Temple declined to comment because coach Rod Carey was not involved in recruiting Jamal Speaks.

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