Chicago Bears wide receiver Devin Hester brought his cousin Antoinne Hester to the Chicago area to work at his football camp late last month just days before officials in Florida say he shot and killed a man.
Antoinne Robert Hester, 22, has been charged with murder and is being sought in Broward County, Fla., for the July 4 shooting death of a man in a car on Interstate 95. It’s a troubling family situation for Devin Hester, who told the Chicago Tribune he’s done what he can to help family members over the years, including having his cousins work at his football camp, that was held June 29-30.
“It affects family members,” Devin Hester said. “I always have my cousins come to help me, to work in the camp. It helps me and at the same time kind of puts a little money in their pockets. So, three days later, after he left, that incident happened. It is very shocking to me.
“It does take a toll on the family, but at the same time some of my family down there, I hate to say this, but that is just the life they live. And, you know, you try to be a role model with the situation I am in, playing football. But sometimes people are stuck in an environment where they can't get out. It's just the worst situation that he is in and a bad decision that he made.”
Devin Hester does not know where his cousin, who remains a fugitive, is. Police have questioned Devin Hester about his cousin and he says he has cooperated with their efforts.
“Word on the street was he was still up here with me when that incident happened,” Devin Hester said. “I told them my cousin, he was home, he left here Sunday (July 1). That was pretty much it. I love my family. I hate to see something like this.”
Now, Devin Hester will be able to put his focus on football, and maybe that will be a good thing for him. The Bears will hold their first practice of training camp at Olivet Nazarene University this afternoon.
Follow me on Twitter: @BradBiggs
Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune