Plea Deal In Maurice Clarett Case
Sep 18 2006 12:59PM
Reported by Penny Moore
Former Ohio State standout Maurice Clarett pleaded guilty to two felonies Monday as part of a deal that will end both criminal cases against him.
Clarett was facing twelve felonies that could have sent him to prison for decades. He had to make a deal, and he did, just as 150 potential jurors were due at the courthouse for his trial.
Maurice Clarett walked into the courtroom with a smile on his face, but his mother Michelle saw little to smile about. Her son is going to prison, leaving behind a 2-month-old baby girl.
Clarett's felonies began in January when he robbed two people behind the Opium Lounge on High Street. He only got a cell phone but he showed them a gun in his belt.
Assistant County Prosecutor Tim Mitchell recounted the crime by saying, "At one point during the interchange he said to both of them, 'Don't make me bust you up.'"
Then in August, Clarett was arrested after a high speed chase with four loaded weapons in his SUV.
The January robbery victim recognized the Smith and Wesson.
"We recovered a gun that's identified by Mr. Nyrako and Ms. Douglas as looking a heck of a lot like the weapon the guy had," says Mitchell.
Clarett had little to say.
"First Id like to apologize for my behavior and I accept the time that's given to me," he says.
It will be hard time. The deal was that Clarett would plead guilty to aggravated robbery with a gun from the January case and carrying a concealed weapon from August.
The combined sentence was 7 1/2 years, but after 3 1/2, he can apply for judicial release and the prosecutor will not object.
There's no negotiating those first 3 1/2, and now the fallen hero is on his way to prison.
And even after the 3 1/2 years, Clarett has to go to a community based correctional facility as part of his probation. It's a program to prepare an inmate for the outside world again; it's a lockdown facility for an additional four to six months.
*Well at least he will be in there for 3.5 years minimum. What a huge loss and waste of talent. And what a disgrace for OSU football. Now we have to win the National Championship again this year since; even though he was a big part of the 2002 championship, he has now so terribly tainted it.*