Messages offered up as evidence that New Orleans-raised Tyrann Mathieu threatened a man accused of blackmailing the star athlete offer a peek into the defense which that man may present if tried in the case.
Lawyers representing Geourvon Sears — Mathieu's cousin, who stands accused of trying to bilk millions out of the former LSU star — spoke to the situation and presented the images as evidence at a bond hearing Wednesday.
Copies of the text messages that Sears' attorney presented during that hearing were filed into the public record on Thursday.
An agent for Mathieu, Denise White, has dismissed the notion that her client ever threatened Sears — who had previously lived with Mathieu — as nonsense. The judge who presided over Wednesday's hearing also said that he didn't consider at least some of the testimony and arguments offered on behalf of Sears as "credible," though he didn't elaborate much on that sentiment.
Attorneys for the man accused of blackmailing New Orleans-born pro football star Tyrann Mathieu tried to turn the tables Wednesday, alleging i…
Two messages show what Sears' attorneys allege are "bounties" placed on members of his family.
The first image shows a text message that allegedly originated from Mathieu's phone number. It features an Instagram screenshot of one of Sears' family members with "2K" beneath it. Sears' family and attorneys, Claude Kelly and Celia Rhoads of the federal Public Defenders Office, interpreted the message to mean that a $2,000 bounty had been placed on the man in the photo.
The messages below contain explicit language; some words have been blurred
Another message said to be from Mathieu shows a group of people with "5K" beneath it, interpreted to mean a bounty of $5,000 had been placed on the people in the photo.
An apparent social media comment from Mathieu's verified account was also included, with the NFL star appearing to reference numbered bounties. After a comment of "4L" and two more referencing the number 5, Mathieu comments that someone is "demonic" and "tryna take down members of yo own family." It was unclear which comment he may have been responding to.
Sears' attorneys displayed additional messages which they contended were threats sent toward their client's family by Mathieu.
One message screenshot shows one of the expletive-laden conversations attributed to Mathieu that Sears viewed as legitimate threats to his and his family's safety.
Below, messages sent from Mathieu to Sears' brother, George, includes a passage where Mathieu allegedly threatens, in all capital letters, "IMMA BREAK EVERY BONE IN YO FACE." Sears' attorneys said those came from Mathieu's phone — they are on the left with a gray background.
The expletive-laden responses in blue are purportedly from George Sears. Those responses aim a profane, taunting, and insulting tone toward Mathieu.
A second exchange shown by Sears' camp, again involving George Sears, contains a message from Mathieu that says Seals "can bring his whole army" if he wants and that Mathieu would be in the area that coming Thursday. The date of the message was not specified. Mathieu was in the New Orleans area recently to host multiple events, including a free skills camp in Metairie on May 19.
A third and final text message was included, this one to the mother of Geourvon and George, Toya Robinson, that references actions by one of her sons. The message that allegedly originated from Mathieu's phone levies accusations of "violating" his future wife and image, and that he had to meet with the NFL.
"Tell him he won this round! I'll be back tho!" the message continues.
It is unclear what the exchange with Robinson was referring to, and no comments have been issued from the Kansas City Chiefs or NFL regarding the issue. Hours before the initial news of the alleged extortion plot broke, it was reported that Mathieu had proposed to longtime girlfriend, an offer she accepted along with a ring valued at $250,000.
White, Mathieu's agent, said Geourvon's claims were fueled by Mathieu's recent decision to financially cut off members of the Sears family.
That initial court filing, which only named Geourvon Sears, included references to messages to Mathieu that demanded $1.5 million and later $5 million under threat that Sears would speak to the media about unspecified sexual misconduct allegations. Mathieu and associates also accused Sears of threatening to kill them, with text messages and voice memos presented as evidence to authorities, according to documents.
The actual texts and voice memos offered to the feds on behalf of Mathieu have not been made part of the public record.
Sears cut off an ankle monitor and also went to a vacant home next door to his mother’s house, violating the terms of his bail. He was taken back into testimony and tested positive this week for marijuana as well as the painkillers Tramadol and oxycodone.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Joseph Wilkinson agreed eventually agreed with prosecutors to deny further bail until the case is decided.
Sears has yet to enter a plea in the case.
That is not his only legal problem. He also has pending charges in Jefferson Parish of unauthorized use of a motor vehicle and resisting police, stemming from an April 27 incident at an Avis in Kenner.
A relative of New Orleans-born pro football star Tyrann Mathieu threatened to go public with sexual misconduct allegations against the athlete…
A St. Augustine High School graduate and former Heisman Trophy finalist, Mathieu helped LSU’s football team reach the national championship game at the end of the 2011 season.
He was a 2013 third-round draft selection by the Arizona Cardinals, with whom he played his first five NFL seasons. He played for the Houston Texans last year and signed a three-year deal with the Chiefs this offseason.
Advocate reporter John Simerman contributed to this report.