HOUSTON (AP) - Suspended Green Bay Packers defensive end Johnny Jolly made a deal with prosecutors Tuesday to avoid trial on a felony drug charge and have the case against him dismissed if he stays out of trouble for the next year.
Jolly was given pretrial diversion, a form of probation that will have the charge against him dismissed in a year if he doesn’t break the law and completes other requirements, including 160 hours of community service. Part of the community service will be 10 speaking engagements where he will talk to children and others about the dangers of drug use.
The agreement was reached as Jolly’s trial was set to begin this week. He had been facing up to 20 years in prison if convicted.
Jolly was charged with possession of a controlled substance _ having at least 200 grams of codeine _ after being arrested July 2008 in the parking lot of a Houston club known for drug and gun use. In Jolly’s car, police found cups that had a codeine mixture.
“Yes sir,” responded Jolly, 27, who declined to talk to reporters after the court hearing.
But in the agreement, Jolly said he is aware of his position as a role model.
“I know that I have been given a natural talent and that abusing prescription narcotics has placed my future in jeopardy. I understand that by telling my story to the young people in my community I may prevent them from making the same mistakes,” Jolly, who lives in a Houston suburb, said in the agreement.
Prosecutor Todd Keagle said the agreement was the best outcome for the case.
“There will a lot expected of him,” Keagle said. “The judge wants to make sure Mr. Jolly understands what he did and that his future can be better and at the same time make the futures of others better.”
Along with the community service, Jolly will undergo random drug and alcohol testing. He can’t drink alcohol and is barred from bars, nightclubs or other businesses, except for restaurants, that serve alcohol. He also must notify the court when he takes prescription medication.