Three of the four men who claimed former New York Giants cornerback DeAndre Baker robbed them at a party earlier this year have recanted their testimony against him, according to sworn affidavits obtained by ESPN.
Julius Lamar, Steven Compton and Tommy J. Hartshaw said in sworn statements that Baker "did not directly or indirectly participate in any robbery or assist in a robbery at the scene or elsewhere." The three men added that they didn't see Baker rob or assault anyone with or without a firearm.
Baker is being prosecuted in Florida on four counts of robbery with a firearm. He was originally charged with four counts of armed robbery and four counts of aggravated assault with a firearm after attending a party in Miramar, Florida, in May.
The Giants released Baker this summer after telling him to stay away from the team during its virtual offseason as he attended to his legal problems. The league then put him on the commissioner's exempt list. He is currently a free agent.
If convicted, Baker faces a mandatory minimum of 10 years and up to life in state prison.
According to the original arrest warrant, Baker and Seattle Seahawks cornerback Quinton Dunbar were accused of stealing money and watches while armed with semiautomatic firearms. The warrant stated that Baker intentionally threatened people at the party with a firearm. Prosecutors declined to file criminal charges against Dunbar because of insufficient evidence.
The next court hearing in the case is currently scheduled for Dec. 2. The court is expected to consider the defendant's motion for issuance of order for show cause.
All four men had previously given sworn statements that they were paid to recant their initial sworn statements against Dunbar. Combined, the four men say they were paid a total of $55,000, according to a previous report by the New York Daily News.
Baker's lawyer, Bradford Cohen, had already publicly expressed concerns about the credibility of the witnesses in the case.
"Knowing that you have admitted liars -- admitted liars, there is no way to cut around it or change the story. They are, at best, admitted liars and convicted felons. You have four guys that are convicted felons and admitted liars. You filed based on their word against a guy that has no criminal history, always gives back to his community," Cohen told ESPN back in August. "I wish I could think what they're thinking but it's an impossibility. It's such bad judgment that you can't even put yourself into their shoes to imagine what he was thinking to file this case."
Baker, 23, was a first-round pick last year out of Georgia. The Giants traded up to get him, despite at least two teams telling ESPN last spring that there were red flags about him. Baker then had a rocky rookie year: Two players described Baker as a "handful" last season, and he was benched late in the year after then-coach Pat Shurmur called him out in front of the entire team for a lack of effort.
Baker finished his rookie season with 55 tackles and no interceptions.