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Former Rice football player pleads guilty in connection to Blain Padgett’s death

Courtesy Houston Police Department

By Savannah Kuchar     2/25/20 11:41pm

Ex-Rice football player Stuart Mouchantaf (Hanszen College ‘16) pleaded guilty to two federal charges: conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute, causing death, and possession with the intent to distribute, causing death, at a hearing last Thursday, Feb. 20. Mouchantaf is accused of causing the March 2018 death of his teammate Blain Padgett from an overdose of the synthetic opioid carfentanil.

Mouchantaf will receive a sentence of 20 years to life at a hearing on May 14. He was originally arrested and charged with three offenses on Oct. 5, 2018. According to ESPN, the third charge against Mouchantaf, related to distributing a controlled substance on a university campus, was dropped as a part of a plea deal.

Mouchantaf’s legal representation declined a request for comment.

Mouchantaf and Padgett were both defensive linemen on the Rice Owls football team. Padgett, who was a Lovett College junior at the time, was found dead in his apartment on March 2, 2018 after taking two of five pills Mouchantaf gave him containing carfentanil, a drug 100 times more potent than fentanyl and originally designed to be an elephant tranquilizer.

Dean of Undergraduates Bridget Gorman said the Rice community will continue to remember Padgett in this tragic situation.

“Blain’s friends and everyone else who knew him well here at Rice still miss him terribly,” Gorman said. “We wish peace and comfort for his family, who remain foremost in our thoughts.”

According to the Houston Chronicle, around 20 of Padgett’s family and close friends were in attendance for Mouchantaf’s hearing. In an online obituary written in 2018 by Padgett’s sister Kenedy Padgett, she wrote that she and their younger sister Kamryn had looked up to Blain and would greatly miss him.

“Blain was not only the best brother, son and best friend to us, but he protected and stood up for us every single day of our lives,” Padgett wrote. “Kamryn and I loved being Blain’s little sisters. He loved picking on us and making us laugh.”

[2/27/2020 11:20 a.m.] This article has been corrected to include Padgett and Mouchantafs years and colleges.

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