Football players attend hearing in Fulton County Court
Observer Staff Report | Wednesday, August 31, 2016
Three of the five Notre Dame football players arrested on Aug. 19 — senior Max Redfield, sophomore Te’von Coney and freshman Kevin Stepherson — appeared in court Tuesday morning for their preliminary hearings.
All three entered pleas of not guilty on the charge of possession of marijuana, a Class B misdemeanor. Redfield also entered a not guilty plea on the Class A misdemeanor charge of possession of a handgun without a license.
The other two players, sophomores Dexter Williams and Ashton White, filed motions to waive their initial hearing and proceed directly to pre-trial conferences.
According to court documents, Coney was also found with a counterfeit Illinois driver’s license, though he was not charged for synthetic identity deception. Additionally, 12 tablets of prescription drugs were found in White’s possession, though he was not charged with possession of a prescription drug.
According to the account provided in the probable cause affidavit, a “significant amount of green plant material” was found loose in the front area of the vehicle, on the center console and both of the front seats. The same green plant material, which later tested positive for the presence of marijuana, was also found in two clear plastic bags on the rear floorboard of the car.
A 9mm handgun, loaded with 13 rounds of ammunition, was also found in the backseat of the car, according to the affidavit. When questioned by the officer at the scene, all five men said the handgun was not theirs, though they did acknowledge they were in possession of marijuana.
Irish head coach Brian Kelly addressed the topic at Tuesday’s press conference, saying he is aware of who owns the handgun found in the car.
“I didn’t know at that time,” Kelly said. “Yeah, we ended up finding out.”
While Redfield was dismissed from the team after the arrest, Kelly said he did not ever consider suspending the other four players found in possession of marijuana.
“The other four guys, we’re talking about possession of marijuana and me dealing with that situation. … I’ve never suspended a player for a game for a first defense in this instance,” Kelly said.
Several of the player’s lawyers at Tuesday’s arraignment filed discovery motions to see the video recording of the traffic stop.
Redfield and Stepherson are due back in court Oct. 19 and Coney is due back Oct. 13 for their respective pre-trial conferences. Court dates for Williams and White have not yet been set.