Jordan Jefferson and the LSU nation got some good news today. A grand jury reduced charges against Jefferson to a misdemeanor for his involvement in a bar fight. Charges against Josh Johns were dropped and both players were reinstated and “will rejoin the team and begin practice immediately.”
Jefferson is now charged with simple battery and faces maximum penalties, if convicted, of up to six months in jail and fines up to $500.
His attorney, Lewis Unglesby, said after the decision on Wednesday evening that his client “will never be convicted” if the case goes to trial.
“There’s no evidence beyond a reasonable doubt to even think about it,” Unglesby said. “The grand jury’s standard is much lower than a reasonable doubt, so I guess they thought they met that standard by virtue of an accusation. That’s a sad thing.”
Jefferson and reserve linebacker Josh Johns were initially booked with felony second-degree battery in the Aug. 19 fight. The grand jury decided Wednesday there was not enough evidence to bring any charges against Johns. Four men sought treatment at hospitals after the brawl.
LSU confirmed Wednesday night that the players had been reinstated and “will rejoin the team and begin practice immediately.”
“We certainly don’t condone participation in the incident, but the legal system has determined that their actions did not rise to the level originally charged, and their punishment to date related to football has already been considerable,” Joe Alleva, vice chancellor and director of athletics said in a statement.
I’m pretty sure both are happy campers right now. Although Jefferson is still facing charges at least its just a misdemeanor. I hope they both learned their lesson.
The big question is whether Jefferson will be name the starting quarterback. Jefferson was the projected started for the 2011 season, but Jarrett Lee has been solid so far (56 comp./87 att., 624 yards, 6 TD, 1 INT, 145.1 QB rating).
It’ll be interesting to see what happens.