September 21, 2021 10:23

Charges dropped against NFL’s Deandre Baker, Florida lawyer arrested for extortion

David J. Neal

The Miami Herald

Nov. 16—Armed robbery charges will be dropped against Miami native and former New York Giants cornerback Deandre Baker while extortion charges will be filed against North Miami Beach attorney William Dean in the latest swerve of a Miramar armed robbery case.

Here’s the relationship between these two actions, both announced by the Broward State Attorney’s Office Monday morning after Dean’s arrest.

Dean is the attorney for Tommy Hartshaw, Julius Lamar and Steven Compton, three men who claimed in sworn statements to investigators and in a civil suit that Baker and two accomplices robbed them at gunpoint of $12,500 cash and three watches worth $61,500 during a party at Hartshaw’s house on May 13.

William Dean. Credit: Broward County Sheriff’s Office.

The Broward Sheriff’s Office said Dean told Baker to pay Hartshaw, Lamar and Compton $266,000 each and their stories would change or they’d just stop talking to prosecutors: “Anything you want, so long as the money is right.”

Dean’s Florida Bar website entry says he has been a member since 1997 with a clean 10-year discipline record.

While the Broward State Attorney’s Office doesn’t say whether or not Baker paid up, it does say the three alleged victims took back their accusations “in the form of written, signed, notarized but identical in content affidavits” that said they didn’t get a clear look at what happened, but Baker wasn’t involved and they weren’t robbed of the cash and watches.

“Subsequently, the alleged victims and the known witnesses have become uncooperative and their credibility is inalterably tarnished,” the Broward SAO memo says.

This is the second time in this case there’s accusations of money, witnesses and lawyers meeting in a suspicious huddle.

Originally, Baker and Miami native and Seattle Seahawks cornerback Quinton Dunbar were arrested on armed robbery charges. Charges were dropped against Dunbar after video was released of what Miramar police said was a payoff of witnesses at the office of Dunbar’s attorney, state Rep. Michael Grieco.

No one was charged, although the Florida Bar did open an inquiry of Grieco.

Meanwhile, the New York Giants cut Baker, their first-round pick in 2019 out of the University of Georgia and a Miami Northwestern High graduate.

This developing story will update.

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