Former U of L football player identified as Wilmoth Road murder victim

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A man found dead inside a car Thursday night was a former University of Louisville football player, according to a Louisville attorney.

According to attorney Artie McLaughlin, that man was Abe Brown, a linebacker who played on the team from 2003 to 2006. McLaughlin said he has represented Brown in the past.

The Jefferson County Coroner's Office identified the victim as Abraham Brown, 33. He was found inside the vehicle at around 10:30 p.m. Thursday on Wilmoth Road, off Cane Run Road. Officers were called to that location after dispatchers received reports of shots being fired there.

When officers arrived, they found the body inside the car. His official cause of death was gunshot wounds.

McLaughlin said news of the death left him emotionally distraught.

"I'm pretty devastated, I gotta tell you," McLaughlin told WDRB. "In my line of work, we lose a lot of people all the time unfortunately, but this is one that is profound, to say the least."

McLaughlin said he represented Brown seven years ago when he was facing felony charges, but he said Brown had successfully completed diversion and had put his past behind him.

"Rarely have I ever encountered a client who was more earnest about his shortcomings and his efforts to change them," McLaughlin said.

McLaughlin said he has represented numerous college athletes, and a common struggle they have is the unrealistic expectation that they will all make it to the professional leagues, which causes them to focus only on athletics to the detriment of academics.

"In fairness, Abe struggled with that," McLaughlin said. "This was his rebirth."

McLaughlin said he had been in contact with Brown as recently as last Tuesday. He said Brown was in the process of creating a youth sports league to help underprivileged kids. McLaughlin said Brown intended to call it "Family First Sports Academy," and was in the process of getting it funded. 

"Once he realized he was not going to make it [in the professional league] he turned his focus to trying to help kids, including his own, to realize that there is life beyond sports," McLaughlin said.

McLaughlin added that violence is becoming all too common in Louisville.

Former Louisville teammate and NFL player Kerry Rhodes took to Facebook to express his sympathies:

"Rip Abe Brown man death happens a lot and it’s always tough but when it hits close to him like this it’s a little tougher. Sending prayers to the family.. you were one of my young guns and I’ll always remember the good times. #43forever"

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