Suspended Florida players get pre-trial intervention
By MARK LONG
Oct. 26, 2017
GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Seven suspended Florida players, including standout receiver Antonio Callaway, are entering a pretrial intervention program that could result in the dismissal of felony credit card fraud charges.
State Attorney Bill Cervone filed paperwork with the Alachua County court Thursday that showed the outcome of a monthlong investigation. The players will need to make restitution and comply with probation protocols over the next 12 months to get the charges dropped without any legal findings. The intervention agreements still need to be approved by a judge in the coming weeks.
Callaway, running back Jordan Scarlett, defensive lineman Keivonnis Davis, defensive lineman Richerd Desir-Jones, linebacker James Houston, linebacker Ventrell Miller and receiver Rick Wells were charged with fraudulent use of a credit card and identity theft. Each of them made one charge with a stolen credit card number, ranging in value from $500 to $2,000, authorities said.
"After reviewing the facts involved, the relative roles and culpability of the various defendants, and their individual backgrounds, seven of the defendants have been identified as being qualified for participation in a statutory felony pre-trial intervention program," Cervone said in a statement. "This program reflects the legislative intent and policy of the State of Florida mandating that offenders such as these defendants be given an opportunity to avoid potential lifelong consequences associated with a felony prosecution and conviction, provided that they comply with program requirements."
No one should expect the seven players back on the field anytime soon. They still have to go before the university's Student Code of Conduct Committee to determine potential punishment before even returning to practice.
"We've been made aware of some updates in the legal process and there are still steps to go that include the university student conduct code," Florida coach Jim McElwain said in a statement.
Two other Florida players, defensive end Jordan Smith and offensive tackle Kadeem Telfort, are still under investigation. They made multiple purchases using multiple stolen cards, police said.
"The remaining charges against other defendants are still pending at this time," Cervone said. "For that reason, no further information can be released."