Police have charged an 18-year-old man in the April 28 shooting in Topeka, Kansas that wounded Giants cornerback Corey Ballentine and killed his friend, Dwane Simmons.
Francisco Alejandro Mendez was charged on Friday with seven felony counts, including first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder and five accounts of aggravated robbery, according to Shawnee County District Attorney Mike Kagay and first reported by ESPN.
Police connected the crimes to two related aggravated robberies that occurred on April 27 and April 30. Mendez is being held on $1 million bond and is scheduled to be in court Monday.
According to Simmons’ father, Ballentine and Simmons were leaving an off-campus party at Washburn University early in the morning when they were approached by strangers in a car asking if they were selling marijuana. When the two said, “no,” the car left, but returned moments later and opened fire.
Ballentine, who was drafted the day prior by the Giants in the sixth round — the highest-drafted player in program history — sustained a gunshot wound in his gluteal muscle while Simmons was fatally shot.
Ballentine, 23, joined the Giants for OTAs in mid-May and is expected to compete for a roster spot in training camp.