Click here for updates on the evolving COVID-19 situation at Rice
Rice University’s Student Newspaper — Since 1916

Wednesday, July 28, 2021 — Houston, TX 82°

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

former-rice-football-player-courtesy-houston-police-department
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.



More from The Rice Thresher

NEWS 6/30/21 11:41am
Task force calls for ‘bold change’ of academic quad, potentially relocating Willy’s statue

The Task Force on Slavery, Segregation and Racial Injustice unanimously called for a competition to redesign the academic quad and for further campus-wide events and discussions to educate the Rice community about the university’s founder. Though the task force did recommend an end to the statue’s position as “an iconic image of the university in its publicity,” they stopped short of endorsing the removal of William Marsh Rice’s statue.

NEWS 5/29/21 8:47am
Rice announces student vaccine requirement for fall semester

All members of the Rice community are expected to return in person for the fall and all students who come to campus are expected to be fully vaccinated before the fall semester, President David Leebron announced in an email Friday. Students who receive a medical or religious waiver must continue to test weekly and wear a mask indoors, according to the email.

NEWS 5/27/21 8:27am
Leebron to step down in 2022, reflects on past years

President David Leebron announced that he will be stepping down from his role after this coming academic year on June 30, 2022 in an email to the Rice community Tuesday morning. Next year will mark Leebron’s 18th year as president after taking on the position in 2004. 


Comments

Please note All comments are eligible for publication by The Rice Thresher.