Former Seattle Seahawk Tommy Kane charged with murder
MONTREAL (CP) - Former pro football player Tommy Kane pleaded not guilty Monday to second-degree murder in his spouse's death, one that shocked Montreal's black community where he had been revered for years.
Friends and admirers expressed disbelief at news of the arrest of Kane, 39, who ran football camps for youth following the conclusion of his career with the Seattle Seahawks and Toronto Argonauts.
Tammara Shaikh, 35, died Sunday after police found her on the floor of a west-end apartment. Her body showed signs of violence but there was no indication a weapon was used, said a police spokesman.
Kane and Shaikh had four children under the age of eight, family friends said Monday.
Kane, appearing tired and drawn, wore a blue t-shirt and was shackled hand and foot during his brief court appearance. He will return to court Dec. 11.
Shaikh's death reverberated through Montreal's close-knit English-speaking black community, which remembered Kane as a tireless volunteer and philanthropist in his hometown.
"It was shock (for me) as with everybody else,'' Kane's sister, Karen Desmond, told reporters after the court appearance.
"Both of our families are grieving and we'll have to wait for the outcome of everything,'' she added before breaking down in the arms of friends in a nearby hallway.
Jewel Jones, a family friend and community worker, called the death a ``black community drama.''
"He was known very well in the community, he's a very good person in terms of helping kids,'' Jones said.
"Right now my focus is with the little children. He has four of them and we're going try as a community to see what we can do for the family.''
Kane volunteered his time at the city's Westend Sport Association, the group that helped propel him to stardom on the football field.
He once donated his $70,000 Argonauts' salary to the centre.<
Kane enjoyed a stellar career at Syracuse University from 1985-87, setting a school record for average yards per catch. He's also among Syracuse's all-time leaders in touchdowns and average yards per game.
A third-round pick of the Seahawks, Kane played wide receiver for the team from 1988 to 1992.
After two seasons as a Seahawks reserve, he enjoyed a breakout year in 1990, catching 52 passes for 776 yards. He caught 50 passes for 763 yards the following season.
But his 1992 season was cut short by career-threatening knee and ankle injuries. The Seahawks let him go in training camp in 1993 as he was recovering from surgery on both of his Achilles tendons. His 1994 stint with the Argos was brief, lasting only five games as he battled a hamstring injury.
Kane's lawyer said he has asked that his client be examined in the prison infirmary when he returns to custody.
Sexy evil genius
Whoa. That's terrible. #81 for the 'Hawks, if I'm not mistaken (and I very well could be).
When you're ten years old and a car drives by and splashes a puddle of water all over you, it's hard to decide if you should go to school like that or try to go home and change and probably be late. So while he was trying to decide, I drove by and splashed him again. - Jack Handey
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