Phoenix police arrested Michael Richardson, 59, on Wednesday, December 30, on a murder charge stemming from the shooting death of 47-year-old Ronald Like the day before, ABC15 reported. On Tuesday, December 29, police responded to a shooting near 40th and Van Buren streets around 9 a.m., the station said. They found Like, who had been shot, and rushed him to a nearby hospital where he later died, ABC15 continued, citing police.
Former Chicago Bears star Michael Richardson was arrested for murder in Phoenix. https://t.co/HowGLIihsj
— Jessica Suerth (@suerthjessica) December 31, 2020
Although police have not yet publicly named Richardson as a suspect, ABC15 cited several “sources” confirming the arrest and connection. Maricopa County Jail records also show a “Michael Richardson” was arrested on Wednesday, December 30, on several charges, including murder, misconduct involving weapons and a felony warrant.
The former NFL player, who was on the Super Bowl-winning team for the Chicago Bears in 1985, has not yet gone before a judge for his initial appearance, jail records indicate.
According to ABC15, Richardson lives in a gated community in East Mesa.
Here’s what you need to know:
Richardson Played Football for Arizona State University & The Chicago Bears
According to ABC15, sources confirmed to the station that the Richardson booked into jail on December 30 is the same man who “was an All-Pro cornerback and Super Bowl Champion with the famed 1985 Chicago Bears.”
Richardson, a Southern California native, played college football for ASU and was recognized as an All-American in 1981 and 1982, the American Football Database states. He went on to play in the NFL for seven seasons throughout the 1980s, according to the organization. Richardson played for the Chicago Bears from 1983 to 1988 and for the San Francisco 49ers briefly in 1989, AFD said.
Richardson “was part of the Super Bowl-winning Bears team in 1985 and appeared in the infamous ‘Super Bowl Shuffle video,'” ABC15 added, writing:
In the catchy song, Richardson has a solo, singing, “I’m LA Mike and I play it cool. They don’t sneak by me because I’m no fool.”
Richardson Has an Extensive Prior Criminal History, According to Local Media & Online Court Records
According to online court records, Richardson has had several prior run ins with the law — however, his most recent “arrest in connection to the murder is the most serious crime Richardson has ever been tied to,” ABC15 said.
Already this year, Richardson has been arrested twice by Phoenix police for charges surrounding drug possession, Maricopa County court records show. In 2018, he was accused of theft and possessing meth, crack cocaine and heroin, according to other online records.
Richardson had been convicted of more than 20 crimes by 2008, according to ESPN and The Chicago Tribune — largely while living in Southern California before he moved back to Chicago in 2010.
“As recently as 2008, Richardson faced up to a 13-year sentence for possession of methamphetamine and crack cocaine,” The Chicago Tribune said in 2011. “He had been convicted for the 21st time on a drug offense since the end of his football career.”
ESPN reported in 2010 that the football player developed a deep dependence on drugs when he was 13, writing:
Richardson spent much of his 30s and 40s bouncing in and out of rehab and jail — he had two four-year terms in state prison — it was not until police found 28 grams of rock cocaine and 10 grams of methamphetamines in his car after a routine traffic stop in September 2006 that he faced his most serious jail time. The maximum sentence called for 13 years. Deputy District Attorney Eric Scarbrough asked for eight.