Ex-Arkansas State football star faces murder charges in poisoning deaths

A former Arkansas State football star and Tennessee Titans scout has been arrested in last year’s poisoning deaths of his girlfriend and her unborn child in Nashville, Tennessee.

Blaise Taylor, 27, was indicted on two counts of first-degree murder and arrested by US marshals on Thursday night in Utah. Nashville police said Taylor is “alleged” to have fathered the child.

Taylor is accused of poisoning Jade Benning at her Nashville apartment on 25 February 2023. She was rushed to a hospital after Taylor called 911 and reported that she was suffering an allergic reaction.

Benning’s five-month-old fetus died two days later, and she passed away on 6 March – her 25th birthday – without ever speaking to police.

Following months of investigation by police, scientists and the medical examiner, authorities determined Benning had been “poisoned without her knowledge” after Taylor visited her home.

Taylor was a four-year starter as a defensive back and return specialist at Arkansas State from 2014-17. A captain and first-team All-Sun Belt selection, he set the school record for career punt-return yards (1,151) – returning one for a touchdown in each of those seasons.

Taylor later worked as a scout for the NFL’s Titans for four years before serving as a defensive analyst at Utah State in 2023. Earlier this month, he joined the defensive staff at Texas A&M, where his father, Trooper Taylor, is the Aggies’ running backs coach.

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