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Man Guilty in Death of Olympian’s Brother

October 15, 2004

LOCK HAVEN, Pa. (AP) _ A former college football player was convicted of murder Thursday in the beating death of the brother of Olympic wrestler Sara McMann.

Fabian Desmond Smart, who played free safety at Lock Haven University, was convicted of first-degree murder, kidnapping and two counts of conspiracy in the death of 21-year-old Jason McMann in 1999.

Smart faces either life in prison without parole or a death sentence. Jurors reached a verdict more than nine hours after deliberations began Wednesday night.

Smart didn’t react to the jury’s decision, but touched his fingers twice to his heart and mouthed the words ``I’ll be all right″ to about a dozen family members, according to The Express of Lock Haven.

McMann’s family celebrated, exchanging hugs inside the courtroom, then gathered with friends on the steps outside. Nickolina McMann, the sister of Jason and Sara, told Sara of the verdict via cell phone.

Sara McMann, who won a silver medal at the Athens Olympics in the 138 1/2-pound class, was charged last month with careless driving causing death after a crash that killed her boyfriend, Steven Blackford.

Back on Jan. 22, 1999, police said Jason McMann fought with Smart and was beaten unconscious. Smart and another man then drove McMann into a remote area, where Smart tried to shoot McMann.

When the gun misfired, Smart beat McMann with the gun and a large stick, then left him to die, according to police. McMann’s body was found three months later.

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