NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Ex-NFL quarterback Steve McNair’s mistress bought the gun she used to kill him from a convicted murderer whose fiancée was afraid to have it in the house, authorities said Friday.
Adrian J. Gilliam Jr., 33, of La Vergne, Tenn., was charged with being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm. He admitted selling a 9 mm Bryco/Jennings to Sahel Kazemi for $100, according to court documents.
Kazemi, 20, shot McNair to death at his condo July 4 before killing herself. Authorities say she met Gilliam while she was trying to sell her car and told him she was looking to buy a gun.
A criminal complaint says Gilliam – who was convicted in 1993 in Florida for murder and attempted armed robbery – told police he sold the gun to Kazemi, whom he identified from a police photo.
Digital Access for only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
Detectives traced the gun to its 2002 sale at a pawn shop. Gilliam eventually bought it from someone for $100 about a year or year and a half ago. Investigators said he told them he bought it for protection after his home was burglarized, and police reports show a burglary around that time.
Nashville Police Chief Ronal Serpas said at a news conference Friday that Gilliam decided to sell the gun because his wife was afraid to have it in their house.
Federal Public Defender Hugh Mundy said Gilliam is not married but is engaged to a woman with whom he has a 2-year-old daughter.
Gilliam has been out of jail for seven years and has had no other trouble with the law in that time, Mundy said.
“No one denies this is a tragedy,” he said. “Steve McNair was one of Nashville’s heroes. A lot of lives have already been ruined. But Mr. Gilliam is a decent, hardworking family man and there’s no reason to ruin his life, too.”
Gilliam’s father, Adrian Gilliam Sr. of San Antonio told The Associated Press on Friday night his son had been “keeping straight” since his release from prison.
Police had said last week that Kazemi purchased “a fully loaded 9 mm pistol from a private individual” who met her in the parking lot near where she worked.