The Tyreke Evans case
The Sacramento Kings guard is averaging 20.8 points per game. He is considered the front-runner to be the NBA Rookie of the Year.
That’s a long way from the streets of Chester where Evans grew up, and where at a very early age most people who saw him play predicted great things for him.
Evans starred at American Christian Academy and for a year at Memphis before entering the NBA Draft. He has never looked back.
But his past may be catching up with him. Evans has left Chester, but he still has not escaped the events of Nov. 25, 2007.
On that night Evans was driving his Ford expedition in Chester Township.
In the SUV with him were three other men, including his cousin Jamar.
According to police, the four men in the car that night believed a man approaching the vehicle did not want to talk hoops. They believed he meant them harm, most likely with a gun.
Jamar Evans pulled out a gun and fired a single shot, killing Marcus Reason. No gun was found on Reason.
Tyreke Evans was never charged in the case. Jamar Evans eventually pleaded guilty and is serving nine to 20 years in prison. Tyreke Evans cooperated with police and testified against his cousin at his preliminary hearing.
But the family of Marcus Reason is not satisfied. They have filed a wrongful death suit against the four men in the vehicle that fateful night. Only one of them is due to make $3.6 million this year.
The attorney who filed the suit for the Reason family alleged that some of Tyreke Evans’ actions that night contributed to Marcus Reason’s death, including the fact that Evans knew which direction was he was driving when he approached Reason, and that he knew the other the other three young men in the SUV were carrying guns.
An attorney for Tyreke Evans denies both those accusations, saying “Tyrone Evans did nothing wrong related to this incident involving Marcus Reason.”
I suppose there are two ways to look at this case. One would be a money grab against a young man who is now a star NBA athlete and millionaire.
The other would be the still-mourning family of a murder victim who continue to seek justice in their loved one’s death, one they don’t necessarily believe was delivered by the plea deal entered by Jamar Evans.
It will be very interesting to see if a jury ever gets to make that call.
One other thing should be said here. There were no shortage of people willing to offer their opinions about Tyreke Evans, both at the time of the incident, and throughout his career at American Christian.
But for almost the entire time he left Chester for Memphis, and so far in his rookie season in the NBA, he has been described as nothing short of a model citizen and budding young superstar.
But he still has not completely escaped from the streets of Delaware County, and some of the things that happened here.