Former homeless football player arrested in slaying of girlfriend in Maryland

Jamal Speaks was arrested on first and second-degree murder charges for killing his girlfriend Saniyah Floyd. Photo courtesy Prince George's County police

May 5 (UPI) — A man who once made national headlines for after being ruled ineligible to play high school football because he was homeless was arrested Friday in the death of his girlfriend.

Jamal Speaks, 19, of Palmer Park, Maryland was arrested Friday on first- and second-degree murder charges in the slaying of his girlfriend Saniyah Floyd.

“Initially, responding officers and detectives were advised by witnesses that the victim accidentally shot herself,” a statement on the Prince George’s County police blog read. “An autopsy revealed that her wound could not have been self-inflicted, and the medical examiner ruled her death a homicide.”

At about 10:30 p.m., he shot and killed Floyd, 18, in the bathroom at a home in Fort Washington, Md.

“Speaks then placed the gun in the victim’s hand to make it appear as if she had shot herself,” police said. “He has admitted his involvement in this incident.”

Speaks bought the gun illegally and played with it earlier in the day, according to police.

“There’s been no evidence discovered at this time that Speaks intended to kill her,” a police spokeswoman said.

In 2018, Speaks drew national attention when Ballou High School in Washington, D.C., denied his attempt to play high school football because he was homeless. The school later reversed the decision and allowed him to play.


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