At least legally, a bizarre and frightening chapter in Syracuse football lore has come to an end.
Friday morning, former Syracuse defensive back Naesean Howard was sentenced to 10 years in prison after he was found guilty in the stabbings of two ex-teammates at a party last April. The district attorney’s office had been seeking a 20-year sentence.
Howard, who had “parted ways” with the football program in 2014 but ultimately returned to classes at the university, allegedly went into an unprompted and abrupt “rage” shortly after showing up at an on-campus barbecue celebrating an SU student’s birthday, first stabbing Orange defensive back Chauncey Scissum near his jaw and about his face multiple times. Corey Winfield, one of a handful of ‘Cuse football players in attendance, intervened on his teammate’s behalf and was stabbed multiple times in the arms, chest and ribs.
In court earlier today, Howard claimed that he heard voices telling him that both ex-teammates had guns and were trying to hurt him. He and his attorneys also blamed concussions sustained playing football for his actions that day.
“It wasn’t like I was trying to kill someone,” Howard said. “I was acting out of paranoia. … That day wasn’t intentional. I was going through mental stress.”