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Ex-Colo. Player Gets 9 months

January 24, 1998

BOULDER, Colo. (AP) _ A former University of Colorado football player was sentenced to nine months in jail and ordered to pay $24,000 in restitution for his role in rioting last year on University Hill.

Boulder County District Judge Joseph Bellipanni disregarded the prosecution’s recommendation that Damon Dickey be released and monitored electronically for six months, saying the defendant was lucky he hadn’t killed anyone.

``It is clear to the court that Mr. Dickey was out of control,″ Bellipanni said Thursday. ``Mr. Dickey could be here for murder, which certainly would have put a crimp in his future. We’re lucky that’s not the case. ″

Dickey, accused of forcing his way into the Chi Psi fraternity house, assaulting a man and throwing rocks, pleaded guilty last month to a felony charge of first-degree criminal trespassing and misdemeanor charges of third-degree assault and criminal mischief.

``I feel like anger has destroyed my life, and I just want to have a chance to get some treatment, get on with my life and change my ways,″ Dickey told the judge.

Bellipanni also sentenced Dickey to four years on probation in his home state of California.

Dickey was a third-year sophomore on the football team in 1996, when he quit the team after he was suspended for inappropriate behavior. He had walked off the practice field after being criticized by a coach.

He was one of 35 people arrested in connection with the riots on University Hill last May. The riots spanned three days, injuring several police officers and dozens of others, causing hundreds of thousands of dollars in property damage and costing the city more than $400,000.

To date, six people, including Dickey, have been charged with felonies, authorities said.

Two of them have been convicted and sentenced to six months in jail. Dickey was not on the football team at the time of the riots.

He was extradited from San Diego in October.

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