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Wednesday, June 19, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

18 Months for Extorting a Pro Quarterback

WACO, Texas (CN) - A former Baylor University basketball player was sentenced to 18 months in federal prison for trying to extort $1 million from Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III.

Richard Khamir Hurd, 26, of Waco, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Walter Smith on Nov. 21, the day before Thanksgiving.

Hurd pleaded guilty in September to interstate communication of a threat to injure the property or reputation of another person and receiving the proceeds of extortion.

He also must pay $1,200 in fines and special assessments.

"I messed up, and I'd like to apologize to my family," Hurd said at his sentencing hearing, according to The Associated Press. "I've embarrassed myself and them as well."

Hurd admitted that he contacted one of Griffin's agents in June and demanded $1 million under the threat of releasing information that would damage Griffin's reputation.

"During negotiations with Griffin's agent conducted at the direction of the FBI, Hurd agreed to accept a lesser sum of $120,000 in exchange for the information and signing a 'non-disclosure' agreement," prosecutors said in September. "On June 22, 2012, Hurd appeared in a Waco law office where he signed the 'non-disclosure' agreement and collected a check for $120,000. Afterwards, FBI agents arrested Hurd."

Hurd is a former boyfriend of Griffin's fiancée, Griffin said during a media conference call on Nov. 20.

Griffin said that anyone who gains fame and money can be vulnerable.

"People do things like that when they're angry at you or for whatever reason," Griffin said. "For me, it's extremely unfortunate, and you've just got to move on from it."

He added: "It's not anything I'm afraid of. It's just sad."

Hurd refused to answer questions as he left the courthouse, the AP reported.

"The only thing I have to say is 'Happy Thanksgiving' and 'Sic 'em, Bears,'" Hurd said. "Any other cliché I can throw out there?"

Griffin, 22, won the Heisman Trophy last year at Baylor as the nation's best college football player. Nicknamed RG3, Griffin was the second overall pick in this year's NFL Draft and signed a 4-year, $21.2 million contract with the Redskins in July.

On Thanksgiving Day, Griffin led the Redskins to an upset 38-31 victory over the Dallas Cowboys. It was his first game as a professional player in his native Texas.

Follow @davejourno
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