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LSU’s Hill Pleads Guilty to Battery

BATON ROUGE, La. — Suspended LSU running back Jeremy Hill has pleaded guilty to simple battery in connection with a bar fight in April in which video captured Hill punching another man in the side of the head.

Holding his thumb and forefinger close together, the judge told Hill he was “this close” to ruining a promising football career.

Hill entered the plea Friday in state district court in Baton Rouge. He will not have to go to jail for the fight, but he faces the possible revocation of the probation he was granted following a January 2012 guilty plea to a misdemeanor stemming from his sexual relationship with a then-14-year-old girl at his high school.

District Attorney Hillar Moore said it will be up to a judge to decide whether Hill should serve the suspended six-month sentence in that earlier case.

A hearing likely would be set for August. Coach Les Miles, who suspended Hill after the bar fight, was not immediately available for comment.

Hill did not comment after his arraignment. When asked by state District Judge Michael Erwin if he understood the plea his attorney, Marci Blaize, had entered on his behalf, Hill said he did, and added, “I apologize.”

Prosecutors said the victim, an LSU student, did not ask for jail time. He requested only that Hill and a co-defendant in the fight, Robert Bayardo, share his $750 in medical expenses, not have any contact with him or his family and not comment publicly about the incident in any forum.

The judge accepted those terms, handing Hill a six-month suspended sentence and two years of probation. That now overlaps with his previous six-month suspended sentence and initial two years of probation, which is due to expire in January.

Holding his thumb and forefinger close together, the judge told Hill he was “this close” to ruining a promising football career. The judge reminded Hill of the fate of Cecil Collins, who played at LSU in 1997 and whom the judge called one of the “greatest” and “dumbest” Tigers running backs of all time. Collins’ once-promising career was ruined by constant trouble with the law and years of prison time.

In May, state District Judge Bonnie Jackson had placed more restrictive conditions on Hill’s probation, including a 9 p.m.-6 a.m. curfew and a ban from bars. Erwin said those conditions will remain, but that he will give Hill the flexibility to stay out later than 9 p.m. when his football schedule demands it, should he be reinstated.

The judge also ordered Hill to undergo anger management counseling and perform 50 hours of community service.

Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press

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Posted by on Jul 12 2013. Filed under Sports.

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