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Two UConn football players apply for special probation in dorm theft case

February 20, 1997

ROCKVILLE, Conn. (AP) _ Connecticut football players Shane Stafford and Dactavian Newton, who were among three athletes charged in a dorm room robbery, applied Wednesday for special probation.

The case of the third player, Murray Clayton Jr., was continued in Rockville Superior Court pending further investigation.

The three were charged last month with second-degree burglary, a felony, and sixth-degree larceny, a misdemeanor. All are due back in court March 12.

Stafford, 20, UConn’s starting quarterback last season, apologized for their actions as he left the courtroom.

``We made a mistake,″ he said.

He said he was apologizing for Newton, 23, a wide receiver, and Clayton, 18, as well as himself.

Stafford, of Sinking Spring, Pa., is a sophomore and has been the team’s starting quarterback the past two seasons. Newton, of Norwalk, is a senior who led the Huskies last season in catches and receiving yards.

Clayton, of Daytona Beach, Fla., was a rookie reserve.

The Connecticut Daily Campus, the student newspaper, reported that a student called police after she interrupted the burglary and recognized the players as they ran from her friend’s room.

The student who was robbed will have an opportunity to speak against the players’ application for accelerated rehabilitation when they appear in court March 12.

Under the terms of special probation, their records would be erased if they meet the terms of the court’s sentence, which usually involves counseling and community service.

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