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LSU players may not be interviewed by police
Question of the Day
BATON ROUGE, LA. (AP) - LSU starting quarterback Jordan Jefferson and three of his teammates have no immediate plans to talk to police about a bar fight that allegedly involved them, their attorney said Monday.
Police had asked Jefferson, along with offensive lineman Chris Davenport, defensive lineman Josh Johns and receiver Jarvis Landry, to offer their recollection of the fight to police Monday morning. However, that meeting was called off after Nathan Fisher, the attorney for the players, asked for a delay.
Police Sgt. Don Stone said investigators hoped the delay would be only 24 hours and the players would voluntarily submit to questioning on Tuesday morning. However, Fisher, a defense attorney with a history of representing LSU players, said he was “not aware of” any impending meeting between his clients and police.
“My clients have a right to not say anything,” Fisher said.
Stone said such delays are standard when people of interest in investigations hire attorneys. At this point, the players have not been charged or asked to turn themselves in, and do not have to meet with police at all, Stone said.
Stone also stressed that Police Chief Dewayne White is not giving LSU players any special treatment and the investigation of the fight will continue with or without players’ cooperation.
“These guys aren’t going anywhere, they’re not a flight risk. It’s not like we don’t know where they’re at,” Stone said. “If they don’t come in, it does not halt our investigation. It continues. It’s not like we’re sitting around waiting for them. We still have witnesses to interview. … And if it reaches the point to where the evidence supports the allegations, we’ll obtain arrest warrants for the persons responsible. And if it’s these four football players, they’ll be arrested and booked into the East Baton Rouge Parish jail.”
Based on the victims’ accounts and injuries, two players potentially could be charged with felony second-degree battery, while two others could be charged with misdemeanor simple battery, Stone said. Stone declined to specify which two players could face the more serious charges.
Witnesses have described one of the victims being kicked in the head while lying on the ground, Stone said. He declined to specify who did the kicking or who got kicked.
LSU practiced Monday evening, but university officials said none of the players who have been named in the investigation would be made available to the media. Players who did talk to reporters were instructed not to answer any questions about their memories of what happened at the bar not far from campus last Thursday night.
The players were out after a curfew imposed by the coaching staff when the fight took place. However, LSU athletics spokesman Michael Bonnette said players traditionally conclude fall camp, which this year ended last Thursday, by socializing together after curfew. Bonnette said that tradition has spanned the tenures of a number of coaches.
Nonetheless, coach Les Miles has said allegations surrounding he fight have made him “miserable,” and the entire team has been punished with additional conditioning during practice, such as running. Miles also said more punishment would be forthcoming as the facts of the investigation become more clear.
As of Monday night, though, no players had been suspended.
The fourth-ranked Tigers open the season against No. 3 Oregon on Sept. 3 at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
Jefferson was expected to be the starting quarterback, but if he cannot play, senior Jarrett Lee would be the likely starter behind center, with junior college transfer Zach Mettenberger next in line.
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