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Ex-NFL Linebacker Murdered By Cocaine Dealers ... Officials Say

2/22/2018 11:04 AM PST
Breaking News

Ex-NFL linebacker Robert Eddins -- who played briefly with the Buffalo Bills -- was shot to death in a basement by 3 drug dealers ... officials say. 

Eddins and another man, Ricardo McFarlin, were murdered in 2016 in an "execution style" shooting at Robert's grandmother's home in Detroit. 

Now, officials have charged 3 men in connection with the killings -- Michael Griffin, Dennis Epps and Mariano Garcia. Officials say all three men were part of a plot to deal more than 5 kilos of cocaine and heroin. 

Prosecutors say the suspects traveled from Alabama to Detroit specifically to kill Eddins -- and in the process, killed the other man as well. 

Cops say both victims were found with gunshots to the head. 

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration issued a statement on the case ... saying, "The murders of Eddin and McFarlin is just another example of how violence is intertwined with drug trafficking."

Eddins signed with the Bills in 2011 after going undrafted out of Ball State. He also played with Buffalo in 2012 but only appeared in 1 regular season game.

He later went on to play in the Canadian Football League. 

NFL's Marqise Lee Legal War With Cemetery Over Brother's Body

2/15/2018 11:02 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Jaguars player Marqise Lee is in a legal battle with an L.A. cemetery that's refusing to allow the WR to dig up and move his brother's body ... TMZ Sports has learned.

Here's the deal ... Lee's brother Terreal Reid was shot and killed in 2006. He was buried in a "multiple plot" grave with 5 other bodies at Angeles Abbey Memorial Park in Compton.

Lee -- a 2nd round pick of the Jags in 2014 who caught 56 balls for 702 yards last season -- has petitioned L.A. Superior Court for the right to "disinter the remains of his brother" and move him to a single plot grave.

According to the docs, Lee says the cemetery has refused to exhume and relocate the body without a court order. 

As for why Terreal was ever buried in a grave with other people ... Lee says his family only chose the grave site back in '06 'cause of the high cost of a single plot.

We spoke to Oscar Olivos, the owner of Angeles Abbey cemetery, who told us before burying a body, families sign contracts that prevent disinterment.

"We do not allow removal after burial because it will disturb the other members."

Mark Salling Death Certificate Confirms Hanging

2/12/2018 10:28 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Mark Salling's death certificate confirms all the details we know about his suicide.

The Coroner's Office just released the certificate, filed in L.A. County ... and it lists cause of death as asphyxia by hanging. It also says he was found dead in a riverbed in Sunland, CA.

TMZ broke the story ... Salling was found hanging from a tree ... not far from where he lived. The Coroner had already determined it was death by suicide, as we reported.

We still do not have toxicology results from Salling's autopsy ... which will show if he had been drinking or boozing prior to hanging himself. 

Prior to killing himself, the "Glee" star has pled guilty to possession of child pornography involving prepubescent minors and was awaiting sentencing.

Rasual Butler Huge NBA Stars Attend Funeral ... Deliver Emotional Chant

2/12/2018 9:40 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Some of the biggest stars in the NBA went to La Salle University on Sunday to pay tribute to Rasual Butler ... and honored their friend by circling together for an emotional chant.

Chris Paul, Lamar Odom, Caron ButlerJim Jackson and others were in Philadelphia for the "service of love" for Butler ... who was killed in a car crash in L.A. on January 31. 

CP3 was one of the speakers -- he and Butler played together back with the Hornets. 

We're told the event was more of a celebration of Rasual's life -- and the highlight was when the NBA stars and Butler's friends huddled together to perform a chant in his honor. 

Butler's wife, Leah, also passed away in the crash. We're told she's being honored in a separate ceremony. 

Legendary Singer Vic Damone Dead at 89

2/12/2018 7:46 AM PST
Breaking News

Vic Damone, who is considered one of the best singers of his time, is dead.

Damone was praised back in the day by the likes of Frank Sinatra, who said "he had the best pipes in the business." Damone recorded more than 2,500 songs and was part of the '50s heartthrobs, which included Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Dean Martin and Perry Como.

His biggest hits included "You're Breaking My Heart" and "On the Street Where You Live." He also had an NBC variety show, "The Vic Damone Show."

Damone got his break at 14, shepherded by Perry Como, who met him by chance in an elevator. Damone famously stopped the elevator between floors and began belting out tunes.

Vic died at Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami Beach surrounded by relatives.

He was 89.

RIP 

Oscar-Nominated Composer Johann Johannsson Dead at 48

2/10/2018 10:58 AM PST

Johann Johannsson -- the man behind the original scores of films like "Arrival," "Sicario," "The Theory of Everything" and "Prisoners" -- died Friday in Berlin ... according to his manager.

Johannsson was reportedly found dead in his apartment, and Berlin authorities are investigating. The cause of death is unknown at this time.

The Icelandic-born composer has been one of Hollywood's hottest in recent years, earning 2 Academy Award nominations in back-to-back years for "Sicario" and 'Theory of Everything.' He also got a Golden Globe nom for "Arrival" last year and won for 'Theory.'

Johann worked on compositions for theater and TV too, and performed as a solo musician.

He's survived by his daughter, parents and 3 sisters. He was 48.

RIP.

'House of Cards' Star Reg E. Cathey Dead at 59

2/9/2018 4:06 PM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Reginald E. Cathey, who had huge roles in "House of Cards" and "The Wire," has died ... TMZ has learned.

The beloved actor passed away at his home in New York, surrounded by friends and family. We're told he'd been battling lung cancer.

Reg played Freddy, owner of Francis Underwood's fave BBQ joint on "House of Cards." The role earned him the Emmy for Outstanding Guest in 2015.

He also famously played the mayor's aide, Norman Wilson, on several seasons of "The Wire."

He was a hard working character actor in Hollywood for more than 30 years with dozens of roles on TV and in movies ... including "Oz," 'Law & Order: SVU,' 'Fantastic Four,' "The Mask" and "S.W.A.T."

Reg was extremely close to 'Wire' creator David Simon -- he's the only actor Simon hired to work on all of his TV shows. He posted memories of his friend.

Reg was 59.

'3 Doors Down' Ex-Guitarist Estate Sues Doctor, Rite Aid for Wrongful Death

2/8/2018 7:48 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Former 3 Doors Down guitarist Matt Roberts died at the hands of a physician who was negligent and a pharmacy that enabled the doctor ... so claims Matt's estate in a new lawsuit.

The estate named Dr. Richard Snellgrove and Rite Aid as the ones responsible for Matt's death ... this according to new legal docs obtained by TMZ.

The estate claims Snellgrove's the one who prescribed high levels of opioids and benzodiazepines to Matt for years prior to his death. The suit claims Snellgrove has already been indicted in Alabama for Matt's death. The estate also faults Rite Aid for failing to comply with the Controlled Substances Act.

TMZ broke the story ... Matt died of an apparent overdose. He was scheduled to perform at a charity event when he was found dead in his hotel room. Matt's dad believed the possible OD was accidental.

He was 38.

'Frasier' Star John Mahoney Cause of Death Brain Disease, Lung Cancer

2/7/2018 12:01 PM PST
EXCLUSIVE

John Mahoney's death was caused by multiple health complications, which included brain disease and lung cancer.

Our sources say the "Frasier" star's official causes of death include brain disease, lung cancer and seizures. We're told Mahoney also suffered from kidney disease and diabetes.

We broke the story ... Mahoney died Sunday in Chicago while in hospice care.

Our sources say Mahoney was cremated.

Mahoney played Kelsey Grammer's cranky father, Martin Crane, for 11 seasons on the hit sitcom. Shortly after John's death, Grammer posted, "He was my father. I loved him."

He most recently had a recurring role starring on the TV show "Hot in Cleveland," which ended in 2014. He's also had appearances on movies like 'American President,' "Say Anything..." and "Eight Men Out" over the course of more than 30 years in the industry.

John was 77. RIP

Mickey Jones 'Justified' Actor Dead at 76

2/7/2018 11:20 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Actor Mickey Jones -- a regular on "Justified" and "Home Improvement," and a character actor in tons of huge movies -- has died ... TMZ has learned.

Sources close to the situation tell TMZ ... Mickey died at 2:17 AM Wednesday following a long illness. We're told the actor had been in and out of the hospital for the last few months. It's unclear what illness he was battling.

Mickey's been a hard working actor in Hollywood for over 3 decades. He's "that" guy ... whose face you've seen in 'MASH,' "Entourage" and "Bones." He also appeared in movies like "Total Recall," "Sling Blade," "Tin Cup" and many, many more.

He was also an accomplished drummer ... who used to play with Kenny Rogers. Mickey was 76.

RIP

Colts' Edwin Jackson Suspect Hit with Felony Charges ... In Fatal Crash

2/7/2018 7:43 AM PST
Breaking News

The man who allegedly killed ex-Colts LB Edwin Jackson and his Uber driver while wasted drunk has been charged with 4 felonies ...  and now faces more than a decade in prison. 

37-year-old Manuel Orrego-Savala -- who was living in the U.S. illegally -- appeared in court today where he was charged with 2 counts of leaving the scene of a fatal accident and 2 counts of drunk driving resulting in death. 

The first 2 charges are Level 3 felonies and carry 3 to 16 years in prison. The next 2 charges are Level 4 felonies and carry 2 to 12. 

On top of that, Orrego-Savala has also been hit with a federal charge for illegally reentering the country after being deported. That charge carries a sentence of up to 10 years in prison. 

As we've previously reported, officials say Orrego-Savala is from Guatemala and illegally entered the country multiple times over the years. He was deported twice before.

He's come under fire by Donald Trump, who on Tuesday tweeted -- "So disgraceful that a person illegally in our country killed Colts linebacker Edwin Jackson."

Cops say Jackson and his Uber driver were standing outside their car on the shoulder of a highway in Indiana when they were struck by Orrego-Savala's truck. 

Officials say he was almost 3-times above the legal limit. 

Rasual Butler: Surveillance Cam Captures Deadly Crash Audio

2/7/2018 12:50 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

The car crash that killed beloved ex-NBA player Rasual Butler and his wife, Leah LaBelle, was so loud, the audio was picked up on a home surveillance camera about a block and a half away from the incident. 

You can hear the tires screeching for roughly 2 seconds -- followed by a series of loud bangs. 

Cops say Butler's Range Rover was traveling at very high speed around 2:30 AM on Jan. 31 when he lost control and struck several parking meters, slammed into a wall and flipped two times before coming to a stop. 

Judging from the audio, it sounds like Butler slammed on the brakes and tried to avoid the collision -- but he was going too fast to regain control of the vehicle. 

Butler was one of the most well-liked guys in the NBA -- and tons of huge stars like Ray Allen and Kobe Bryant paid tribute to him after the incident. 

Butler was 38. Leah was 31. 

Donald Trump 'Disgraceful' That Illegal Killed NFL Player

2/6/2018 6:36 AM PST
Breaking News

Donald Trump says it's "disgraceful" that a former Indianapolis Colts linebacker Edwin Jackson was killed by a man who was in the United States illegally ... and is calling for democrats to get tough on the border. 

As we previously reported, 26-year-old Jackson was hit by a pickup truck early Sunday morning while he was standing on the shoulder of a highway in Indiana. 

Officials believe the man driving the truck is 37-year-old Manuel Orrego-Savala -- a Guatemalan citizen who had been living in the U.S. illegally. Officials believe Orrego-Savala was drunk at the time of the crash and tried to flee the scene. 

Once apprehended, officials say Orrego-Savala had been previously deported twice before -- once in 2007 and again in 2009 -- yet somehow made it back and had been living in Indiana. 

Now, Trump is weighing in ... saying, "So disgraceful that a person illegally in our country killed @Colts linebacker Edwin Jackson."

"This is just one of many such preventable tragedies. We must get the Dems to get tough on the Border, and with illegal immigration, FAST!"

"My prayers and best wishes are with the family of Edwin Jackson, a wonderful young man whose life was so senselessly taken. @Colts."

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