wplg logo

‘He’s not a murderer,’ wife says of suspect in Bryan Pata killing

Rashaun Jones’ wife Ishenda speaks exclusively to Local 10 News

Rashaun Jones was arrested last week, accused of killing his University of Miami football teammate Bryan Pata back in 2006.

CORAL GABLES, Fla. – Rashaun Jones was arrested last week, accused of killing his University of Miami football teammate Bryan Pata back in 2006.

Jones’ wife tells Local 10 News that her husband is being wrongly accused.

“This is not something he is capable of,” Ishenda Jones said in an exclusive interview Tuesday afternoon. “He’s not a murderer. He’s not.”

While Ishenda Jones says police have the wrong guy, prosecutors believe they have enough evidence for a conviction.

Pata’s murder was a mystery that left its mark on the University of Miami. He was a star defensive lineman for the Hurricanes with the NFL draft in his reach.

But on Nov. 7, 2006, Pata was shot dead execution-style outside his apartment complex in Kendall.

Pata, then 22, would have turned 37 on Aug. 12.

Investigators honed in on Rashaun Jones, a UM defensive back who had some bad blood with Pata.

Jones’ wife said even though the two football players had a history, it was resolved before Pata’s death.

“He said they weren’t even at odds when Bryan got killed,” she said.

It would be 15 years before police made an arrest, which happened Thursday in Ocala.

“I heard them say, ‘Rashaun Jones, put your phone down. You’re under arrest,’” Ishenda Jones said.

The state attorney’s office says cellphone tower evidence is part of what led to his arrest. Miami-Dade County police have not released many details into what other evidence they have against Jones, 35.

“We pray for peace,” Ishenda Jones said. “There is nothing we can say to bring Bryan back.”

Pata’s brother Edwin spoke to Local 10 News over the weekend and said that while the arrest brings some relief to the family, it’s only the beginning of a long road to justice.

“People think they can get away with stuff, can live a normal life for 15 years, but karma has its way, God has his way,” Edwin Pata said.


About the Author:

Bridgette Matter joined the Local 10 News team as a reporter in July 2021. Before moving to South Florida, she began her career in South Bend, Indiana and spent six years in Jacksonville as a reporter and weekend anchor.