South African sprinter Oscar Pistorius was charged with murdering his girlfriend, model Reeva Steenkamp, in February 2013. Pistorius, the first double-amputee runner to compete in the Olympics, was convicted of murder and sentenced to six years in prison.
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Lawrence Phillips, a former NFL running back who was awaiting trial on charges of killing his prison cellmate last year, died in January after being found unresponsive in his prison cell, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation said. The death of Phillips, 40, was being investigated as a suicide, the department said. Phillips was sent to a California prison in 2008 after being convicted of domestic violence, false imprisonment and vehicle theft charges. While serving a 31-year sentence, authorities say, he killed his cellmate in April 2015. A trial was anticipated in Kern County, California.
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Rae Carruth, who was a wide receiver for the Carolina Panthers, became the first active NFL player ever charged with first-degree murder. His pregnant girlfriend, Cherica Adams, was killed in December 1999, and prosecutors said he arranged for her to be killed in a drive-by shooting. Carruth was eventually convicted of conspiring in her murder, and he is now in prison. The unborn child, a boy, survived.
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Middleweight boxer Rubin Carter, known as "Hurricane" in the ring, served 18 years in prison for a triple homicide in a bar in 1966. A federal judge overturned his sentence and that of his alleged accomplice, John Artis, in 1985, ruling that the conviction was based on "racial stereotypes, fears and prejudices."
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Groundbreaking skateboarder Mark "Gator" Rogowski confessed to beating and raping Jessica Bergsten, then choking her to death and burying her in the desert in 1991. Bergsten was a friend of Rogowski's former girlfriend, and Rogowski testified that he acted out of misplaced anger against his ex. Rogowski was denied parole in 2011 and will not be eligible for parole again until 2018.
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Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis and two others were charged with murder in 2000 after a fight in a popular Atlanta bar district left two men dead on the street. The murder charges against Lewis were dropped after he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of obstruction of justice and testified against his friends; they were later acquitted. Lewis announced his retirement before helping the Ravens win the Super Bowl in 2013.
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Bruno Fernandes das Dores de Souza, a former goalie for the Brazilian soccer club Flamengo, was convicted in March 2013 for the murder of his ex-girlfriend. He was sentenced to 22 years and three months for the murder of Eliza Samudio, who disappeared in 2010. Souza, his current girlfriend and his ex-wife were among nine people charged with torturing and murdering Samudio, who had been trying to prove Souza had fathered her son.
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Although O.J. Simpson was found not guilty, the former football star's 1995 murder trial has kept him a household name. Simpson was acquitted in the death of his wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and Ron Goldman. In October 2008, Simpson was sentenced to 33 years in prison on multiple counts, including armed robbery and kidnapping, in connection with a robbery at a Las Vegas hotel in 2007.