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Colfax 37 offered diversion program

Jenn Metz | Thursday, October 2, 2008

The St. Joseph County Prosecutor’s Office offered the 37 people arrested Sept. 21 at a party on the 700-block of E. Colfax Ave. the chance to participate in a voluntary diversion program, according to a press release.

If the individuals in question choose to participate in the diversion program, they will pay user fees and “may be required to perform community service, participate in an alcohol use evaluation and follow through with any educational program determined to be appropriate after the evaluation,” the release said.

This action is consistent with the handling of most first-time offenders who have been arrested for similar offenses, the release said.

If they choose not to participate in the program, or fail to respond to the letter sent by the Office, the reports will be referred for formal charging, according to the release.

Three of the 37 arrested Sept. 21 have prior records, and these individuals will “be dealt with more harshly, on a case-by-case basis,” the release said.

One of the three, Irish tight end Will Yeatman was on a “Deferred Sentencing” program for a January arrest for driving while intoxicated. He entered a guilty plea to the charges of Operating a Vehicle While Intoxicated, a Class C misdemeanor and Reckless Driving, a Class B misdemeanor, on Feb. 25.

His sentence was deferred for one year, allowing Yeatman the opportunity to earn the dismissal of the charge of “Operating While Intoxicated,” the release said.

A term of this agreement stated that Yeatman “shall not commit any criminal offenses during the term of this agreement,” the release said.

Because Yeatman failed to comply with this term of the agreement, according to the release, he will be sentenced on the charge of Operating While Intoxicated, and both the State and the Defendant will “be free to make arguments to the Court regarding the appropriate sentence.” The Court will set a date for the sentencing hearing.

Yeatman and the two others with prior records have been offered the opportunity to enter the voluntary diversion program for the Sept. 21 arrests for Minor Consuming, which is a Class C misdemeanor, the release said.

The students involved may be further subject to any disciplinary proceedings that may be initiated by the University’s Office of Residence Life and Housing, in addition to sanctions imposed by the State of Indiana, according to the release.