LOCK HAVEN, Pa. -- A former college football player was convicted
of murder Thursday in the beating death of the brother of Olympic
wrestler Sara McMann.
Fabian Desmond Smart, who played free safety at Lock Haven
University, was convicted of first-degree murder, kidnapping and
two counts of conspiracy in the death of 21-year-old Jason McMann
Smart faces either life in prison without parole or a death
sentence. Jurors reached a verdict more than nine hours after
deliberations began Wednesday night.
Smart didn't react to the jury's decision, but touched his
fingers twice to his heart and mouthed the words "I'll be all
right" to about a dozen family members, according to The Express
of Lock Haven.
McMann's family celebrated, exchanging hugs inside the
courtroom, then gathered with friends on the steps outside.
Nickolina McMann, the sister of Jason and Sara, told Sara of the
verdict via cell phone.
Sara McMann, who won a silver medal at the Athens Olympics in
the 138½-pound class, was charged last month with careless driving
causing death after a crash that killed her boyfriend, Steven
Back on Jan. 22, 1999, police said Jason McMann fought with
Smart and was beaten unconscious. Smart and another man then drove
McMann into a remote area, where Smart tried to shoot McMann.
When the gun misfired, Smart beat McMann with the gun and a
large stick, then left him to die, according to police. McMann's
body was found three months later.