WJTV News Channel 12 - Former ECU football player killed in Greensboro

Former ECU football player killed in Greensboro

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Bonesville.com Bonesville.com
Darren Blacknall Darren Blacknall
GREENSBORO, N.C. - A former ECU football player is dead and his brother is accused of killing him.

Greensboro Police say Darren Blacknall stabbed his brother, Derek, Monday night at their home on Willard Street.

Officers say the two were arguing Monday night, when the altercation escalated and Darren stabbed his brother, Derek Blacknall. He was taken to a local hospital and pronounced dead.

Blacknall's brother, Darren, has a long criminal history. In fact, he was supposed to be in court just this week to answer to recent charges of injury to personal property and communicating threats. Now, he's in jail without bond, charged with murder.

Derek was just 24 years old and played football at Dudley High School. He later went on to play at East Carolina University from 2008-2011. He earned four letters as a defensive back for the Pirates during that time.

East Carolina Head Football Coach Ruffin McNeill issued the following statement about Blacknall's death, "East Carolina University and the Pirate Nation has sadly lost a member of our football family with the tragic passing of Derek Blacknall. Derek was well-liked and respected by his teammates and coaches, and I feel blessed we shared a passion for this program and the game itself. We offer our thoughts and prayers to his family and everyone who mourns his loss at this time."

Neighbors described Derek as a quiet and polite person.

"It's tragic," said Billy Jones, neighbor. "You know, it hurts. I lost my own son a year ago and I understand that pain that Diane, his mother, is going through. And now, she's basically losing two sons in this."

Darren Blacknall is 30-years-old. Court documents obtained by CBS affiliate WFMY show that, back in 2006, Darren was charged with simple assault and the victim listed was his brother, Derek. Those charges were dismissed by deferred prosecution. That means Darren had to complete certain requirements set by the court to have those charges dropped.

Darren has also been found guilty of larceny, possession of marijuana, injury to real property, resisting public officer, assault on a female and shoplifting. He spent 45 days in jail back in 2008 for possession of drug paraphernalia.

The 911 call history to the Blacknall house on Willard Street, also obtained by WFMY, show authorities were sent there more than 30 times since 2007. Ten of those calls were in reference to a domestic dispute.

--- WFMY contributed to this report.
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