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Sparks fly during bond hearing in extortion case involving Tyrann Mathieu

The family of the man accused of attempting to extort money from the Chiefs safety made allegations of their own on Wednesday

NFL: Cleveland Browns at Houston Texans John Glaser-USA TODAY Sports

On Tuesday, we learned that 21-year-old Geourvon Keinell Sears — a distant relative of recently-signed Kansas City Chiefs safety Tyrann Mathieu — had been arrested for extortion by federal authorities in New Orleans after he allegedly attempted to force Mathieu to pay at least $1 million to keep Sears from going to the media with charges of sexual misconduct against Mathieu.

Court documents from the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana said that Sears stands accused of contacting Mathieu by phone and text, demanding amounts ranging from $1.5 million to $5 million for his silence — and also making threats against Mathieu’s family, who then feared for their safety.

If convicted of the charge, Sears could face a $5,000 fine and a sentence of up to 20 years in jail.

Following his arrest, Sears had been released on a $25,000 bond. But on Wednesday, his bond was revoked after a hearing before federal magistrate judge Joseph Wilkinson in New Orleans. In the hearing, it was revealed that Sears had removed the ankle monitoring bracelet that would report his location to authorities.

According to a report from New Orleans television station WDSU and tweets from its reporter Travers Mackel, Sears’ attorney and members of his immediate family — his mother Toya Robinson and his brother George Sears — made allegations of their own against Mathieu.

In court, Sears’ attorney told [the] judge that Sears and his brother lived with Mathieu for years in Arizona while Mathieu played for the Arizona Cardinals. They moved back to New Orleans after he went on to play for the Houston Texans.

The family testified that the extortion allegations were in response to threats made from Mathieu against their family.

Sears’ brother George testified that Mathieu put a hit on him his brother. He [claimed] that he feared for his life and that Mathieu also sent family members threatening text messages.

He [claimed] Mathieu drove by their home over the weekend when he was in town for a charity event.

As we told you on Tuesday, Mathieu was indeed in New Orleans over the weekend for a charity event. But Chad Cockerham of the New Orleans Police Department — assigned to the FBI task force that investigated the case — testified that because of the threats made against Mathieu, he had remained with him the entire weekend — and they never went near Sears’ home.

Prosecutors accused defense attorneys of turning a simple bond hearing into a “mini-trial,” and claimed Sears had admitted to “smoking marijuana every day since he was 10 years old.” They said a drug test administered to Sears after his arrest tested positive for marijuana, tramadol and oxycodone. Prosecutors said that Sears had admitted to them that he used marijuana and tramadol, but not oxycodone.

While testifying, Robinson read a text message she claimed was from Mathieu that threatened her life and those of her sons. She was asked where her sons were living when Sears started using drugs. “With Tyrann,” she replied. She also said, “My son is a good child. He got wrapped up in a different world.” Later she testified, “I want this to all go away, I want my son out of this federal situation and Tyrann to go on with his life.”

On Wednesday evening, Mathieu’s agent Denise White released a statement describing the matter as a “very private and personal family issue.”

”He’s dealing with a family member who is dealing with a mental health issue,” said White. “Tyrann is fine. His family is fine. They are getting through.”

Sears’ next scheduled court date in the extortion case is June 21. We will keep you updated with developments.

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