I've enjoyed not writing these lawdog articles. But, alas...
Steve Rene and Marquis Spruill spent Saturday night in jail after being arrested following a drunken incident with police.
You can read the details here, but suffice it to say, it does not sound like a good situation to be in if you're one of Doug Marrone's football players. Spruill was charged with violation level offenses of disorderly conduct and harassment, while Rene got a resisting arrest charge in addition to his disorderly conduct.
Disorderly conduct is when you act with the intent to cause public inconvenience, annoyance, or alarm, you engage in: fighting; unreasonable noise; obscene language in public; disturbing a lawful assembly; obstructing traffic; failing to disperse; creating a hazardous/offensive condition. Judging by the allegations, Rene and Spruill engaged in several of those acts. Disorderly conduct is a violation in New York, not classified as a crime, and the maximum penalty is 15 days in jail, $250 fine, and a surcharge. A typical plea bargain on disorderly conduct calls for a one-year conditional discharge, a fine, and a surcharge. Depending on the circumstances of the case, an adjournment in contemplation of dismissal could be offered, wherein there is no admission of guilt, you stay out of trouble for six months, you may have to do some community service, and then at the end of the six month period the charge is automatically dismissed. But, given the circumstances here, that might not be feasible.
Harassment in the second degree in when, with intent to harass, annoy, or alarm another, you engage in: physical contact or the threat of physical contact; following someone in public; a course of conduct which services no legitimate purpose. Harassment is also a violation level offense in New York, not a crime, and carries the same potential sentences as disorderly conduct. Harassment is most often charged when there is a fight that does not result in physical injury.
Resisting arrest, however, is a misdemeanor -- a crime. Pretty self-explanatory, resisting arrest is when you intentionally prevent or attempt to prevent the lawful arrest of yourself or another. A conviction of this crime carries up to a year in jail, or a three-year probation term, up to $1000 fine, and a surcharge.
Given the police version of events, and the letter of the law, it would seem that Rene and Spruill are guilty as charged. Obviously, there is another side to the story, so how this all shakes out remains to be seen. The cases could certainly be plead down, or sentences bargained for, depending on the other side of the story, any past criminal history (or lack thereof), and efforts to rehabilitate their images as productive members of the community and examples of the Syracuse University football program. That all remains to be seen. And yes, if either of these guys receives a sentence that includes jail, they do get credit for the night they already served.
And of course, Rene and Spruill will face disciplinary action from the SU Judicial Board. Not to mention certain suspension from -- or expulsion from -- the football team. Easy money is on no Pinstripe Bowl for Rene or Spruill. Not on Marrone's watch.
Keep it here for further analysis on this case as it progresses.