College Football Player Convicted of Murdering Nursing Student Outside Campus Student Center

Destiny Washington and a friend were trying to sell AirPods to the defendant when he shot and killed her, say police

Destiny Washington nursing student murdered in Birmingham Alabama
Destiny Washington . Photo: Facebook

A former University of Alabama Birmingham football player has pleaded guilty to killing a nursing student in 2020.

On Monday, Carlos Londarrius Stephens of Alabaster pleaded guilty to murdering Destiny Washington, 20, of Trussville, in December 2020, court records show, a Jefferson Circuit Court clerk confirmed to PEOPLE.

He was sentenced to 25 years in prison.

Authorities have said they believe she and a friend had arranged to meet Stephens to sell him a set of AirPods for $100 when she was fatally shot in a parking lot outside of the university's student center, according to a news release.

Stephens pleaded guilty to a lesser charge on Monday after a previous conviction was vacated in July and a judge ordered a new trial, WBRC, and the clerk confirmed.

In April, when he was originally tried, a jury found him guilty of capital murder, the clerk said.

A judge vacated the verdict and sentence because of juror misconduct.

Washington was a nursing student who was completing classes at Lawson State Community College through a joint admission program with the University of Alabama Birmingham when she was killed, reports

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"Destiny was one of those students that always tried to help out," said Melanie Gaines, who taught Washington at Clay-Chalkville High School, reports the Trussville Tribune. "She is one of those that always stayed with you."

Another staff member at the school, Principal Michael Lee, told "The thing I remember most about Destiny was her smile. She was a sweet, sweet soul."

In high school, the student-athlete played basketball and volleyball, and was a member of the National Honor Society, the staff members said.

"We love all of our students,'' Lee said, "but she was one of those special ones."

A statement released by UAB following the shooting said in part, "We are devastated."

Family members said Washington was on track to become a registered nurse next May, reports the Trussville Tribune.

"It was her resolve to be successful," said Gaines. "She knew what she wanted to do and worked hard to be able to go to college and go into this nursing program. She never wavered on what she wanted."

"It was just taking the life of somebody that had so much to offer."

Stephens' attorney did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment.

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