- The Washington Times
Tuesday, January 14, 2020

The 21-year-old woman who Redskins safety Montae Nicholson and a friend brought to a Virginia hospital died from accidentally overdosing on fentanyl, an autopsy revealed.

On Nov. 14, Julia Crabbe was taken to a Loudoun County hospital after Nicholson found her unconscious in the bathroom of his home. She was pronounced dead sometime after arriving.

Local authorities are still investigating the case and have made no arrests. A search of Nicholson’s home after the incident found pills, marijuana and tinfoil, according to a search warrant.

According to the Loudon County Sheriff’s Office, Nicholson and his friend had dropped Crabbe off and left immediately. Nicholson’s lawyer, Mark Dycio, told multiple outlets the safety had departed when her family arrived.

Nicholson, 24, faced criticism for heading straight to the hospital rather than call 911 upon finding Crabbe unresponsive.

More than a week after Crabbe’s death, 15 members of her family showed up to Redskins Park in Ashburn to protest the safety, wearing shirts with phrases such as “#justiceforjulia” and “#35nevercalled911.” Crabbe’s family has said Nicholson could have done more to prevent their daughter’s death.

They also blamed him for not reaching out to them after Crabbe’s death.

“It’s weird because if you can contact a family member to let her know that she’s overdosed, but then you can’t contact that same family member after it’s said and done to say ‘I’m sorry’ or just to show any sort of sympathy, it’s just a fake reaction,” said Trent Ellis, Crabbe’s cousin. “It’s just not real.”

The Redskins allowed Nicholson to continue to play after Crabbe’s death, saying they were cooperating with authorities and the league over the incident. Nicholson, too, said he was speaking with authorities.

Addressing reporters in November, Nicholson said he was “extremely grateful” the team stuck by him.

“This week has been extremely hard on not only myself but Julia’s friends and family, as well,” Nicholson said. “I would appreciate if you all respect my privacy while everything is going on.”

Nicholson finished the year on injured reserve, missing the last game of the year with a neck injury. He appeared in 13 games total, recording 62 tackles. Drafted out of Michigan State in the fourth round, Nicholson has been with the Redskins since 2017 and will enter the final year of his contract next season.

In 2018, Nicholson was arrested for misdemeanor assault. A video appeared to show the safety in a drunken brawl outside a bar. Charges, though, were later dropped because of a lack of evidence.

According to the CDC, fentanyl is an opioid characterized “50 to 100 times” more potent than morphine.

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