With the news that four Alabama Crimson Tide football players were arrested being first reported here, the facts of the matter are now all over the Internet. The question on fan’s minds now is, what’s next?
Who they are
Eddie Williams, a freshman from Panama City, has practiced at both safety and wide receiver. He faces the most serious charges, having been arrested for carrying a pistol without a license, in addition to second degree robbery and fraudulent use of a credit card. Williams was released on Monday on a $65,000 bond.
Freshman linebacker Tyler Hayes was charged with second degree robbery and was released on a $60,000 bond. Hayes caught the ire of Alabama football fans when during the Texas A&M game, he jumped offsides during an Aggies 4th-and-1, giving the Aggies a first down that allowed them to run out the clock.
Redshirt freshman defensive end D.J. Pettway was also charged with second degree robbery and released on a $60,000 bond. Pettway has the most experience, having played in 12 games and recording seven tackles and 1.5 sacks.
Redshirt freshman H-back Brent Calloway has, as we’ve noted, been in trouble before. He was charged with fraudulent use of a credit card, and released on a $5,000 bond. Calloway has seen time on their field on special teams, and had one reception on offense.
In all, these are players that were not expected to make major contributions in 2013. While definitive word on whether the players will be disciplined or removed from the team will come from the university athletics department, it’s fair to say all four are in danger of being kicked off the team.
For his part, Calloway has already taken to Twitter to answer fans:
@kyle2lamb first it wasn’t a credit card and 2 I wasn’t even awake during the robbery you don’t kno what happened so dont try me dude
— HONEYBEAR #21 ♏ (@BrentCalloway) February 12, 2013
How serious are the charges?
The University of Alabama Police have made public the arrest warrants for the players involved.
According to the University of Alabama Police student alert that was issued last night:
Two UA students reported that they were approached by two individuals asking for a light before being struck in the head and their belongings taken. The individuals are believed to have been occupying a dark colored SUV. No weapons were reported.
With the suspects having been booked and released on bond, the legal process begins.
What is the law?
BamaHammer spoke with a criminal defense attorney who agreed to talk to us about the charges and what they mean. The relevant portions of the Alabama Criminal Code are:
Robbery in the second degree.
(a) A person commits the crime of robbery in the second degree if he violates Section 13A-8-43 and he is aided by another person actually present.
(b) Robbery in the second degree is a Class B felony.
Robbery in the third degree.
(a) A person commits the crime of robbery in the third degree if in the course of committing a theft he:
(1) Uses force against the person of the owner or any person present with intent to overcome his physical resistance or physical power of resistance; or
(2) Threatens the imminent use of force against the person of the owner or any person present with intent to compel acquiescence to the taking of or escaping with the property.
(b) Robbery in the third degree is a Class C felony.
Regarding the Code, our defense attorney had this to say:
This Youthful Offender Statue is slightly misleading, in that you do not have to be of minority age to apply for YO. As long as you are under the age of 21 you can apply. It isn’t a guarantee that you will be granted YO status, but failure to apply by the attorney borderlines on malpractice. The application is done on a form provided by the Court. If you are granted YO status, you proceed without a jury, the punishments are less harsh and the record isn’t public.
Some counties also have pre-trial diversion programs. Because of the nature of the charges, I am not sure if Tuscaloosa County has a DP that would apply. Generally, in a pre-trial diversion or deferred prosecution program, the person is allowed to complete a “probationary” period, usually 2-3 years and if they complete the program the charges are dropped. They would report to a probation officer, just as if they were found guilty or plead guilty and placed on probation. There could be restitution and fees that have to be paid in order to complete the program.
Obviously, the other options would be to be tried or plead guilty as an adult. First time offenders may be given the opportunity to receive probation as punishment but Class B felonies are serious and the prosecutor may not even consider offering probation.
Based on the charges of Robbery 2nd, you can speculate that the individuals in a group allegedly took by force or threat of force the property of the victim off of his person. Based on the charges, you can speculate that there was NOT a deadly or dangerous instrument used or threatened to be used, aka hand gun, knife, etc. Had the individuals allegedly used a gun, they would more than likely have been charged with Robbery 1st. Keep in mind, no details have been released so this is all based on hypotheticals due to the nature of the charges. The charges indicate this was more than an alleged theft or burglary. All individuals are presumed innocent of all charges and the State has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the individuals are guilty.