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Brandon Marshall’s testimony leaves no doubt; he was the real target

The night before I left home for college, I was sitting in the back seat of a friend’s Firebird (at least I think it was a Firebird) in the drive-through line of the local Burger Chef (at least I think the place was called Burger Chef).  Four of us were in the vehicle, a blended group of acquaintances who each knew the driver well (think Kramer at the wheel of a car containing Costanza, Mickey, and Newman).

So another car rolled past us.  Older kids.  Though it might surprise some of you, I have the tendency at times to be a smart ass, and something prompted me to yell something — I can’t even remember what it was — to the other car.

On went the brake lights and out jumped one of the guys.  Since the Firebird had two doors, I was tucked away, largely out of view and most importantly out of reach.  So the guy literally pulled the kid sitting in the front passenger seat out of the car and beat the hell out of him.  The guy then looked into the car and said something like, “Do the rest of you have anything to say?”

I still think about that night once every year or so, and I still feel guilty that some guy I didn’t know very well (hell, I can’t even remember his name) got punched hard in the stomach and maybe in the face because of something I said.

Take that feeling and multiply it by 100,000, and that’s how Broncos receiver Brandon Marshall surely feels, every day of his life.

We posted earlier today the link to the audio of his testimony from the trial of Willie Clark, the man who is accused of killing Broncos cornerback Darrent Williams via a hail of bullets directed at the limo in which Williams and others were riding.  Though we gradually have realized via the media accounts that Marshall and Williams weren’t joined at the hip that night, we still had a vague sense that they generally were traveling in the same pack, given that they were on the same team.

After listening to Marshall’s testimony, it’s clear that they were in completely separate groups.  It’s also clear that, under the prosecution’s theory of the case, Clark fired bullets into the limo carrying Williams because Clark assumed that Marshall was in it.

Marshall had been fighting with Clark and others who were with him.  During a verbal exchange outside the club, Clark had pretended to have a gun, prompting Marshall to say, “You aint got no f–king gun.”  It was Marshall who then got angry and tried to climb a snow bank and was punched in the jaw by one of the other guys with Clark and then concluded after the others scattered that it would be prudent to get the hell out of there.

Said Marshall, “Being from where I’m from . . . if there ain’t no police there breaking up no fight or an argument and guys take off . . . a light should go off meaning danger. . . .  The first thing I thought about was, ‘These guys [are] running, he’s acting like he has a gun.  He may be running to go get a gun.’”

Though the link from the Denver Post craps out before Marshall’s testimony is finished, we heard enough to conclude that Marshall was the primary target of the bullets fired by Willie Clark, under the facts as the prosecution believes them to be.

So now it’s perfectly clear why Marshall thinks of the situation “every night.”  Marshall’s cousin got into a verbal squabble with some guys, Marshall tried unsuccessfully to defuse the situation, Marshall eventually “escalated” the incident to the point where a guy went to get a gun, the guy got a gun, and the guy fired the gun into a limo other than the limo in which Marshall was riding.

It’s easy for Marshall to conclude that the bullet that killed Williams was meant for him, especially since at the moment the testimony cuts out, Marshall is explaining that at one point in the evening he got in the Hummer limo in which Williams was riding, which likely represents an effort by prosecutors to explain Willie Clark’s confusion regarding the proper target of the bullets that were fired.

Given all of the problems Marshall has had, it’s hard to ever regard him as sympathetic.  But we feel badly for him on this one.  For the rest of his life, he has to carry around the feeling that he helped stir up a situation that ultimately claimed the life of a teammate who also was, by all appearances, an innocent bystander.

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34 Responses to “Brandon Marshall’s testimony leaves no doubt; he was the real target”
  1. aDickRunsThisSite says: Feb 27, 2010 4:37 PM

    ‘being from where he was from’
    he should have known that to escalate that it would lead to violence of some sort.
    i cant feel sorry for marshall when theres another guy dead because of his ignorance.
    i reserve my sorrow in this case for mr williams and his surviving family who are surely more deserving than someone who by his own admission ‘escalated’ the incident. He is indirectly responsible for the death of an innocent bystander.
    brandon marshall should be alone with his guilt for the rest of his life and maybe, just maybe he can start to act like an adult and do some more positive things in the community and for his team instead of being suspended and a sideshow.
    CLEARLY he has learned very little if anything from this based on his behavior. it hasnt changed.

  2. Fan of Football says: Feb 27, 2010 4:39 PM

    damn dog, damn

  3. MasterShake says: Feb 27, 2010 4:41 PM

    It seems that maybe a few words are being left out of the testimony. Maybe Marshall (I said maybe) claimed to have a piece when the other cat didn’t. He tried to be hard because of “where he’s from” and got another person smoked. He should live with that for the rest of his life. That’s on him. Has anybody asked or have knowledge to the fact of whether or not Marshall had a gun on his possession? It’s not that far fetched. Just ask Plax!

  4. mosdef says: Feb 27, 2010 4:43 PM

    You feel bad for Marshall???? Are you kidding? They should lock him up to for being such a moron. The fact that he’s still had confrontational incidents since then proves how unfit for society he is. You feel bad for him? Ridiculous…

  5. ninerfan says: Feb 27, 2010 4:45 PM

    Although this is an unfortunate incident, I’m not really surprised. I can’t help recalling what Jay Cutler said about Marshall. “It’s always something with him.”

  6. Ralph Gre Nader says: Feb 27, 2010 4:45 PM

    “Given all of the problems Marshall has had, it’s hard to ever regard him as sympathetic. But we feel badly for him on this one. For the rest of his life, he has to carry around the feeling that he helped stir up a situation that ultimately claimed the life of a teammate who also was, by all appearances, an innocent bystander.”
    Pile on a little more?
    That being said, It’s the absolute truth. We all make decisions and Willie Clark made a decision. But without a doubt, Marshall helped make Willie Clark’s decision a little easier for him. The worst part about the whole situation is Brandon Marshall seems like an alright guy who just has a problem shutting the f-ck up. The guy badly needs a father figure that’s fairly obvious. Mother’s tell their children how special they are and Father’s teach them how to be real men. At least that’s how it should be.

  7. cs_foodie says: Feb 27, 2010 4:47 PM

    and he still acts like a punk all the time…what to think?

  8. Stone says: Feb 27, 2010 4:53 PM

    They should start charging idiots like him with accessory to murder, or some other similar charge, so they think twice before yapping off to idiots of a similar mind while under the influence of alcohol or otherwise.

  9. TFBuckFutter says: Feb 27, 2010 4:54 PM

    Burger Chef!
    We had one of those in the town I grew up. If was gone by the time I was 10 or so, but before then it was just McDonald’s and Burger Chef. Then we got a Wendy’s.
    There were always rumors we were going to get a Burger King but we never did.
    When I went back in like 1998, there was, in fact, a Burger King. It was at the end of a strip mall where Fayva Shoes used to be.
    Remember Fayva?

  10. slipkid says: Feb 27, 2010 5:01 PM

    stirring up schitt to make himself look like a big man, then running like a baby when it got too hot.
    and forever feeling guilty, but also acting like an ass all the time anyway, cause someone other then he the instigator got iced.
    sooner or later he will get his.

  11. WilsonFisk says: Feb 27, 2010 5:08 PM

    Sounds too familiar to the TI story that lead to his best friends death.

  12. jeffz303 says: Feb 27, 2010 5:12 PM

    In terms of feeling sorry for him, since the night of Williams’s murder–probably caused in part because Marshall couldn’t keep his stupid mouth shut–Brandon has been (in chronological order) arrested for domestic violence, been arrested for DUI, cut his arm fighting with his cousin…er, slipping on a McDonald’s wrapper, gotten charged with misdemeanor battery, and gotten charged with disorderly conduct. Not to mention his little tantrums during last year’s training camp, and the 11 times cops have been called to his suburban Denver home since 2006.
    Why on earth should anyone feel sorry for Brandon Marshall? This guy–who’s been blessed with off-the-charts talent–didn’t learn a damn thing from what he helped cause happen to Darrent Williams. He’s a hothead with a really big, stupid mouth. Those tears he was crying when he talked about Williams? Punkass Brandon conjured up those tears by thinking about the big contract he didn’t get last year–not from thinking about his role in Williams’s death.
    I feel sorry for Darrent Williams’s mother, but I certainly don’t have the slightest bit of sympathy for Brandon Marshall. He’s just another idiotwho doesn’t get it, and he never will.

  13. jonnyonthespot says: Feb 27, 2010 5:20 PM

    pretty sure florio just wrote this to tell everyone on the interwebs that he had friends growing up. sad brah, sad.

  14. King Ding-A-Ling says: Feb 27, 2010 5:30 PM

    “Being from where I’m from”…. Figures.
    That whole “product of my environment” excuse is getting really old. It’s really hard to feel sorry for this scumbag. The only sympathy I have is for Darrent Williams and his family.
    R.I.P Darrent
    Burn in hell Clark.

  15. The Notorious V.I.C. says: Feb 27, 2010 5:40 PM

    This wasn’t Marshall’s fault.
    It’s the fault of the piece of shit who shot Darrent Williams.
    Period.
    Marshall isn’t to blame for Williams being dead.
    I mean, if we want to sit here and play cause and effect we can argue that it’s all Mike Shanahan’s fault for drafting Marshall in the first place. If Shanahan doesn’t do that, then Marshall never ends up a Bronco playing in Denver and he isn’t at that party that nigh.

  16. FireJerryJones says: Feb 27, 2010 5:40 PM

    Actions speak.
    I can’t see how he has grown up at all based on his self centredbehavior.

  17. Honinbo says: Feb 27, 2010 6:26 PM

    Burger Chef and Jeff! Been 35-40 years since I had one of their burgers. Are they even still around?

  18. mr_snrub says: Feb 27, 2010 6:36 PM

    Placing any blame on Marshall is absurd. Saying he’s in any way responsible is like blaming a domestic violence victim for getting beaten up because she returned to the abuser.
    Could Marshall have made better decisions? Maybe. Maybe Marshall was just doing what all of us have done at some point – had a few drinks and mouthed-off to a few thugs/low-lives.

  19. Andy says: Feb 27, 2010 6:45 PM

    Florio, the legal aspect is all you. For everyone who was once young and wants to get off your high horse.
    We were all young and dumb. Now most of us did make better decisions and I would bet some of us did not. He is a man who is now in his mid 20s looking back on his early 20s. We all make mistakes and I am not one to condone his actions. I have made mistakes too, but none this grave.
    He might take a hard lesson from this, and I am not one to say somethings happen for a reason, but maybe he will make a difference in a life going forward.
    Maybe he will be here on this earth to help 1 person, maybe your kid, or mine which I don’t have. Maybe he can take this experience and be a better man we don’t even know can exist.

  20. Howie Handles says: Feb 27, 2010 6:53 PM

    “They should start charging idiots like him with accessory to murder, or some other similar charge, so they think twice before yapping off to idiots of a similar mind while under the influence of alcohol or otherwise.”
    Boy am I glad you’re not a judge. Who does running his mouth equate with his being guilty of a crime? Don’t get me wrong, this guy obviously has issues, but he’s not the one who decided to bring a gun to a fistfight. The guy who committed the crime needs to be executed for what he did.
    Back when I was a kid, and I’m not that old, people would throw fists, diffuse the situation, or just walk away.

  21. Andy says: Feb 27, 2010 6:54 PM

    Florio, the legal aspect is all you. For everyone who was once young and wants to get off your high horse.
    We were all young and dumb. Now most of us did make better decisions and I would bet some of us did not. He is a man who is now in his mid 20s looking back on his early 20s. We all make mistakes and I am not one to condone his actions. I have made mistakes too, but none this grave.
    He might take a hard lesson from this, and I am not one to say somethings happen for a reason, but maybe he will make a difference in a life going forward.
    Maybe he will be here on this earth to help 1 person, maybe your kid, or mine which I don’t have. Maybe he can take this experience and be a better man we don’t even know can exist.

  22. Mr Krinkle says: Feb 27, 2010 7:04 PM

    Marshall should feel guilty.He is partially responsible for Williams death. If him and his cousin weren’t acting like jackasses, the gang member wouldn’t wanted to shoot somebody.

  23. onesweetworld says: Feb 27, 2010 7:05 PM

    Wait a second, this guy thinks about this all the time but yet he still acts like a punk and spoiled brat? Really? Can he really be this stupid? You would think that getting a teammate killed would make you grow up and be more mature….

  24. Junior says: Feb 27, 2010 7:23 PM

    The only person that can be blamed for Williams death is the person who pulled the trigger. Did Marshall escalate the situation? Yes, but he got his when he got punched that night. The fact that the other idiots went and got a gun isn’t Marshalls fault. Were they targeting Marshall? I’d guess yes, but that still doesn’t make it Marshalls fault. I’m sure he feels guilty, we all probably would.
    Bottom line is that those other guys were looking to get into some shit that night. Listen to the testimony and you’ll see that Clark started problems with Marshall the moment he got to the club that night.

  25. r8rsfan says: Feb 27, 2010 8:04 PM

    Just needs to escape from donkeytown – the ass hattery capital of the universe.

  26. dlmcc0909 says: Feb 27, 2010 8:20 PM

    You have to feel bad for Marshall on this on this one. Arguments and fights do happen if you go out late at night. you dont have to be a trouble maker for it to find you. anyone who has ever been to a bar or club with a group of people has probably been through some kind of unfortunate argument at least once. It sucks
    The fact is that Williams is dead and Marshall has to walk around knowing that if he may have done things a little differently, Williams may still be here. Thats a really tough pill to swallow. Marshall may be a problem in alot of ways, but I am sure he never meant for this to happen. Its not like he pulled out a gun and shot at these guys first. Thats a burden he will carry each day for the rest of his life. I wouldnt want to be in his shoes

  27. Maddog says: Feb 27, 2010 8:37 PM

    The person I really feel sorry for is me. Because now I’m remembering how great Burger Chef was. You could get your hamburgers “with or without”. Without meant plane and they had their fixins bar, where you could put on your own lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, etc. To be young and in Clarksburg, WV again.

  28. Florio-is-a-tool says: Feb 27, 2010 11:05 PM

    Florio’s story at the beginning confirmed the types of person I’ve always suspected he is. I read the site but truly dislike the type of person he is.
    Sympathies to the victims.

  29. dlr4skins says: Feb 27, 2010 11:49 PM

    Another set of victims (living & dead) born of our glamoured “Hip-Hop from the Street” culture.
    “Brutha’s” killing each other over being disrespected?!?!?!?!?!
    How f*****g stupid is that? Really…. killing a person, life in prison, families crushed, etc.; all over words? How very stupid.
    You call each other brothers but won’t “snitch” to prevent another murder?
    No fathers to be found although it seems that most black single males have multiple children.
    Yeah, you’ve had some bad breaks but eventually you must look in the mirror at yourself.
    I’m embaressed, ashamed, and worried for a segment of black America.
    Too bad America’s too ignorant to address its faults. People magazine is evidence enough.
    Keep it “real”.

  30. costant480 says: Mar 1, 2010 12:24 AM

    Florio, yep it was Burger Chef……on National Road in Wheeling, WV.

  31. tomzilla says: Mar 1, 2010 9:37 AM

    What a bunch of dumb asses that comment on this site. By the retarded logic posted as comments here, if I accidentally cut some guy off and he gets mad and goes home and beats his wife and kicks his dog I must be partly at fault?
    The bad guy here is the dumb ass that pulled the trigger because his dick was too small to “be a real man” and fight with his fists.

  32. Rombough22 says: Mar 1, 2010 1:34 PM

    mosdef says:
    February 27, 2010 4:43 PM
    You feel bad for Marshall???? Are you kidding? They should lock him up to for being such a moron. The fact that he’s still had confrontational incidents since then proves how unfit for society he is. You feel bad for him? Ridiculous…
    -How could you not feel bad for the man? Everyone gets into arguments with people, so he is only human. There was no way he could have known that his friend and teammate would end up dead at the end of the night. And could you please explain to me why they should “lock him up?” From what I have read he did not commit a crime from that night.

  33. jb10 says: Mar 4, 2010 1:41 PM

    sure doesn’t seem as if marshall has learned a thing from this incident. sure he was young and to some extent still is. but how many times does he have to get himself into negative/bad situations before he gets it. he is just one of those guys that does not get it. lawrence phillips anyone?

  34. thePUPlist says: May 29, 2014 3:38 PM

    Everyone who says Marshall hasn’t changed since this event (and especially the poster who is quoting Jay Cutler as someone who draws issue with Marshall’s behavior) just flat out doesn’t know what they’re talking about. He has worked so hard at making a positive impact on other people’s lives these past few years. He’s worked so hard at making himself a better man.

    To the people saying Marshall should be locked up for this, should everyone be locked up ever time they act like an a-hole? Because if so we’d all be in jail. Marshall didn’t pull the trigger. Willie Clark allegedly did. It was Clark’s alleged choice to take Darrent Williams’ life. He was allegedly trying to take Brandon Marshall’s. This act isn’t on Marshall. That isn’t on anyone except Clark.

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