CHARLESTON, SC–Washington Redskins defensive end D'Aundré Banks gave "all thanks and praise to my personal Lord and Savior Jesus Christ" Monday for giving him the strength he needed to fatally stab bouncer Isaac Edmonds and ex-girlfriend Pamela Hamilton outside a Charleston nightclub early Sunday morning.
"All glory to Jesus," the 25-year-old Banks, who attended the University of South Carolina, told reporters from his cell in the Charleston County Jail. "He is with me in this dark hour, as He was in our devastating 14-13 playoff loss to the Buccaneers. His love will see me through this."
According to police reports, at approximately 2:30 a.m., a visibly intoxicated Banks became involved in an altercation with Edmonds regarding who would accompany Hamilton home. When Edmonds attempted to restrain Banks, the 288-pound devout Christian produced a knife and stabbed Edmonds and Hamilton repeatedly. He then fled to the home of girlfriend and Hooters waitress Lisa Nolan in nearby Summerville, where police arrested him several hours later.
"First off, I'd like to say 'great job' to Isaac and Pamela, who put up a heck of a fight and have nothing to be ashamed of," Banks said. "They were terrific opponents, and it's too bad somebody had to lose a life. But the Lord Jesus Christ was truly with me Saturday night. He guided my hand when I was able to make that big hit on Isaac, and I really felt His presence when I stepped up and made that great slashing cut to bring Pamela down from behind."
Added Banks: "Jesus really let me take this homicide to the next level. Thank you, Jesus!"
Banks, who has been charged with two counts of first-degree murder, has been a devout born-again Christian ever since his hot-tub baptism at the hands of Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver and ordained minister Irving Fryar during Pro Bowl week in 1997.
"I was a mess before Jesus took my hand," Banks said. "At South Carolina, I'd show up late to practice, stay out late running around with the wrong crowd, all kinds of bad things. I was about to squander the precious gift of football God blessed me with. But through His grace, I was drafted in the fourth round and sent to the NFL to meet Rev. Fryar, who showed me that Jesus wanted me to glorify Him and play on His team."
Continued Banks: "D'Aundré Banks' life would be nothing without Christ's faith. Without His peace and love, D'Aundré Banks never would have gotten his time in the 40 down to 4.6 for the 1995 NFL scouting combines, and he never would have had the strength to turn a big guy like Isaac Edmonds around with just one arm and stab him."
Jeff Rosenzweig, Banks' Miami-based agent and manager, said his client has been unfairly represented by the media in its coverage of the double homicide.
"All the papers are branding D'Aundré a murderer, as if that's all there is to him," Rosenzweig said. "But in their mad rush to demonize D'Aundré, they neglect to mention his deep dedication to the D'Aundré Banks Helps Kids Tackle Drugs For A Loss Foundation and the Big 98 Safety In The End Zone Safe House For Women. Or, for that matter, that he acknowledges the workings of Christ in his everyday life. No, you don't see any of those things mentioned in the articles about him. It's all 'homicide this' and 'seven-inch stab wound that.'"
Banks, whose preliminary hearing is scheduled for Feb. 22 in Charleston County Court, said his fate is in Christ's hands.
"I don't know what will happen to me. That's up to the Lord," Banks said. "The Bible tells us that nothing is done on this Earth but that is done through God. No multimillion-dollar contract extension, no game-saving interception, no acquittal on both counts of first-degree murder happens without Him."