I am, as many of you know, a criminal defense attorney (and a divorce attorney, and a juvenile attorney, etc., etc.; general practitioners do a lot of things). The vast majority of criminals and other people who need defense attorneys are not malicious thugs. Most of them are just stupid, or temporarily stupid, and mean no actual harm to anyone. You don't necessarily want to be good buddies with most of them, unless you like having lots of drama in your life, but for the most part the people who occupy our jails and prisons are better described a "ignorant" than "mean".
This is not to say that there aren't exceptions. There are plenty of genuinely malevolent people in this world, but even in the world of criminal defense, these people are fairly rare.
Which brings us to the case of the State of Tennessee vs. Mike Edwards, Nu'Keese Richardson, and Janzen Jackson. It appears that new details have emerged in the alleged armed robbery, and these new details seem to paint the whole affair as more "childish prank" of the unfathomably stupid variety rather than "gangland robbery" of the dangerous variety.
This does not excuse this type of behavior. Indeed, people will sometimes get gravely hurt in situations in which no one was ever meant to get hurt. It puts the whole situation in context. In reading this account, one wonders if the football player who held the gun even intended it to be an actual robbery, or if he was just playing a late-teenage version of Cops And Robbers without realizing that if you do that at night at a convenience store, not everyone will realize you're playing a game.
Indeed the individuals who were probably in the most actual danger were the players themselves.
Then there is the story of Janzen Jackson, who witnesses say was actually in the store while the pellet gun was being waved around outside, and may not have even known what the other player was up to. That would make him possibly only "guilty by association" which in legal terms is another way of saying "not guilty."
You would be amazed how many people do something that ends up with them sitting in jail, without ever realizing or intending for their actions to be so serious.