Ex-NFL Star Chris Johnson Accused of Funding Murder-for-Hire Plot

The accusations date back to a deadly March 2015 drive-by shooting in Florida

Chris Johnson, formerly of the Tennessee Titans, watches a replay. (Wesley Hitt/Getty)
Chris Johnson, formerly of the Tennessee Titans, watches a replay. (Wesley Hitt/Getty)
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By Evan Bleier / April 9, 2020 11:20 am

Former NFL star running back Chris Johnson is accused of paying a suspected gang member to get revenge on two men who allegedly wounded him and killed his friend during a drive-by shooting in 2015, according to TMZ.

Though he has not been formally charged with anything, court documents obtained by TMZ state the 34-year-old paid “noted Florida gang member” Dominic Bolden to kill the suspected triggermen in the March 2015 drive-by shooting. Johnson was shot in the shoulder and made a full recovery, but the driver, Dreekius Oricko Johnson, died after being shot in the head. A third man in Johnson’s Jeep, Reggie Johnson, was shot in the triceps and thigh.

After the drive-by, authorities believe Bolden killed the suspected shooters in two separate incidents in January and July of 2016. 

A first-round pick out of East Carolina in 2008, “CJ2K” allegedly provided Bolden with “funds and an individual” who could supply the Florida man with narcotics in order to help him run a gang-related drug trafficking operation in return for the alleged murders. Flush with cash and a drug connection, Bolden became the “de facto leader” of the drug-trafficking organization, an informant told investigators.

“There’s no validity to any of these accusations,” a rep for Johnson told TMZ.

A few months before he was shot in the drive-by in 2015, Johnson was arrested for open carrying of a firearm, a second-degree misdemeanor.

The drive-by shooting and arrest both happened in Orlando. Following the shooting, Police said Johnson was “uncooperative” and investigators thought his vehicle had been targeted.

As a player, Johnson had one of the best offensive seasons in NFL history in 2009 when he set a league record with 2,509 yards from scrimmage as a member of the Titans. After rushing for more than 2,000 yards that season, Johnson was named the AP’s Offensive Player of the Year.

The three-time Pro Bowler rushed for more than 1,000 yards in each of his next four seasons with the Titans ,but never hit the 1,000-yard mark again during his final four years in the league, when he played for the Jets and Cardinals.

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