Bills' McCoy hires defense attorney amid probe
Buffalo Bills running back LeSean McCoy has hired a prominent Atlanta defense attorney amid a police investigation into a home invasion that sent his former girlfriend to the hospital after she was allegedly beaten and robbed of jewelry.
The office of defense attorney Don Samuel confirmed to ESPN and ABC News on Wednesday morning that it was representing McCoy but had not yet released a statement about the case as of Wednesday afternoon.
Samuel has represented several high-profile clients, including serving as part of the defense team for former Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis when he was charged with murder in 2000; the charges were later dropped.
Police in the Atlanta suburb of Milton, where McCoy owns the house in which his former girlfriend, Delicia Cordon, was living, have not released details on the case since Tuesday and have not named any suspects. A spokesperson for the Fulton County, Georgia, district attorney’s office declined to comment on the case Wednesday.
McCoy, who has been training in Miami this summer, denied accusations made on social media Tuesday by a friend of the victim that he was responsible for her injuries. He said he has not had direct contact with her in months.
The NFL said in a statement Tuesday it was reviewing the matter. The Bills released a statement Tuesday saying they were in contact with McCoy and the NFL, and were continuing to gather information.
The investigations by police and the league come as the Bills prepare to report to training camp July 25 at St. John Fisher College in Pittsford, New York.
The NFL’s personal conduct policy could allow the league to place McCoy on the commissioner’s exempt list while he is being investigated by the league and police. That designation would prevent McCoy from practicing or playing in any games.
The exempt list requires either a player to have been formally charged with a crime of violence, including “having engaged in other conduct that poses a genuine danger to the safety or well-being of another person,” or for a league to suspect a violation but still be investigating.
Attorneys for Cordon released a statement to multiple media outlets Tuesday evening saying Cordon was sleeping in the home when a male assailant entered the house early Tuesday and demanded “specific items of jewelry” that she had received from McCoy. There were no signs of forced entry, the attorneys said.
The attorneys’ statement alleges the assailant bruised Cordon’s wrists in an attempt to remove a bracelet and struck her in the head with a firearm. The statement also alleges that McCoy previously made comments about wanting the jewelry back from Cordon and said she could be robbed because the jewelry was expensive.
Photos released by her attorneys show Cordon with multiple cuts and bruises on her face and bruises on her wrist.
Court records in Fulton County show McCoy had been attempting since last July to evict Cordon from the home. A hearing was scheduled for Tuesday in the case, but it was rescheduled to Aug. 14 because of an emergency in Cordon’s attorney’s family.
The attorneys’ statement also alleged that on June 1, when McCoy was participating in practice for the Bills and Cordon was out of town, McCoy directed “his family, friends and laborers” to remove Cordon’s furniture from the home in an attempt to evict her. The statement also alleges that McCoy changed the house’s alarm system and removed security cameras previously accessed by Cordon.
Milton police said in a statement that a woman was sent to the hospital as a result of Tuesday’s home invasion with unknown injuries and that a second woman, whom Cordon’s attorneys identified as her cousin, also sustained minor injuries.
“The preliminary investigation indicates that this residence was specifically targeted by the suspect or suspects, and not a random incident,” police said in the statement provided to ESPN and ABC News. “When officers arrived they found one victim who had been physically assaulted by a lone intruder. During the altercation, the suspect demanded specific items from the victim.”
McCoy was first accused of being responsible for Cordon’s injuries when an unidentified Instagram user posted a graphic image Tuesday morning of a woman, identified as the user’s friend, with cuts and bruises on her face. The post included a message that implicated McCoy. The post, which has been deleted, also included allegations that McCoy beat his son and his dog and used “illegal steroids.”
The unidentified Instagram user posted again Tuesday evening, writing that the victim’s lawyer urged her to delete the original post. The user then added, “I stand by what I said. I’ve personally addressed [McCoy] on everything that was stated many many times over the years. Lie to these people if you want Shady, but you know I know everything.”
Earlier Tuesday, a woman who called herself a friend of the victim posted to Facebook alleging there were “dudes” sent to the victim’s house and she was pistol-whipped and robbed. McCoy released a statement Tuesday following the unidentified woman’s Instagram post that denied the accusations.
McCoy, a nine-year NFL veteran, has never been suspended by the league. He was investigated for his involvement in an altercation with two off-duty police officers at a Philadelphia nightclub in 2016, but prosecutors did not press charges. The officers later sued him. In 2013, New Jersey State Police investigated an incident in which a woman said she was riding on a party bus with a group of people including McCoy but was left at a service area. He faced a civil lawsuit in that case.
Information from Aaron Katersky of ABC News is included in this report.