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Ex-Fresno St. Player Convicted

December 15, 1998

FRESNO, Calif. (AP) _ A former Fresno State basketball player was convicted Tuesday of threatening a man with a Samurai sword in his apartment just hours after a game.

Avondre Jones, the Bulldogs’ starting center last year, and recruit Kenny Brunner were arrested in March after an acquaintance said they threatened him with a gun, beat him with Samurai swords and stole his camera and cash.

The attack happened just hours after the Bulldogs defeated Memphis in the NIT and a day after Fresno State officials criticized CBS’ ``60 Minutes″ for focusing on the legal and drug troubles of the school’s athletes.

Jones was convicted on two misdemeanor counts for the threat. He also was convicted on a felony charge of having a gun while on probation and a misdemeanor marijuana charge.

He was acquitted on six of the charges, including theft, extortion and assault with a deadly weapon.

Jones, who had been on probation for gun possession when he was arrested, faces up to five years in prison at his Feb. 3 sentencing.

A separate hearing was scheduled for Brunner later this month.

Fresno State basketball coach Jerry Tarkanian said he’s glad Jones was acquitted on most of the felony charges.

``I’d like to see him go on and make something out of his life,″ Tarkanian said. ``It was unfortunate for all the pain it caused his family and the whole university.″

Jones dropped out of school after his arrest in March and probably will not return to Fresno State to complete his degree, Tarkanian said.

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