Former NFL lineman Justin Bannan was convicted of attempted murder and first-degree assault Friday for shooting a woman in 2019.
Bannan, 42, admitted shooting acupuncturist Ashley Marie in the arm after she opened the door to her treatment room in a Boulder, Colorado building he partially owned, according to USA Today.
The defensive tackle — who was drafted by the Buffalo Bills in 2002 and played for several teams over his 12-year pro career — was carrying a rolled up $20 with cocaine residue on it at the time, the report said.
Bannan allegedly told cops he was hiding from the Russian mafia when he entered the facility and shot the then-36-year-old, who said she only knew him in passing. She was taken to a hospital with a fractured humerus, the bone that runs from the shoulder to the elbow, according to the report.
Bannan pleaded not guilty due to insanity — blaming lasting effects from head injuries for his actions, the report said.
Defense lawyer Harvey Steinberg compared his client to a gladiator at trial.
“In Roman times, people would come cheer the gladiators. And they were great,” Steinberg said, according to video of the trial published by KDVR. “And then when they were done with them, as you know historically, they fed them to the lions.”
Prosecutors argued that Bannan was high, not crazy — and the jury agreed, sacking the former footballer with a guilty verdict after eight hours of deliberation.
“This case is about a woman who woke up in the morning, got ready for work, played with her daughter, drove to what would be her office – a place of healing – opened the door, and found her life changed forever,” prosecutor Adrian Van Nice told the jury.
Bannan, who did not testify during his trial, faces between 16 and 48 years in prison when he is sentenced in November.