Band geeks across the non-air conditioned South are rejoicing today, confident in the knowledge their long hours of effort have exempted them from criminal prosecution.
At least in Louisiana, where a district attorney has declined prosecution of star high school football players because he didn’t want to “ruin the lives” of young men who spent so much of their youth learning how to excel at a school-sponsored activity.
District Attorney Jerry Jones said he would not pursue criminal charges against Cam Robinson and Laurence ‘Hootie’ Jones who now play for the University of Alabama because that might ruin their lives.
Jones said “I want to emphasize once again that the main reason I’m doing this is that I refuse to ruin the lives of two young men who have spent their adolescence and teenage years working and sweating while we were all in the air conditioning.”
Robinson, a junior offensive tackle expected to be among the first players selected in the 2017 NFL draft, was in possession of a stolen gun when arrested in his hometown of Monroe, Louisiana, in May. He was charged with possession of a controlled substance, illegal possession of a firearm and possession of a stolen gun. The stolen gun charge is a felony.
Jones, a passenger in the vehicle Robinson was driving, was arrested on possession of a controlled substance and illegal carrying of a weapon. Also from Monroe, he is a backup safety at Alabama and is lucky he was riding with a star player.
ESPN reports an officer approached the players’ vehicle at a park that was closed and smelled marijuana. Four people were in the car. The officer said a bag of marijuana and a handgun were in plain sight. A stolen handgun was found under the passenger seat.
Most people, even a really excellent marching band drum major, would probably face at least a misdemeanor charge.
But Jones says there is insufficient evidence the gun, reported stolen out Baldwin County, Alabama, belonged to the players.
In a KNOE video, Jones said even if he had DNA evidence that proved the players touched the stolen gun it does not prove “possession of stolen things.”