Former Hog Assigned to Drug Court

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Former Razorback football player Maudrecus Humphrey's burglary and theft case has been transferred to Washington County drug court, according to the Prosecuting Attorney's Office.

Humphrey had been scheduled to appear Wednesday (Oct. 31) before Circuit Judge A. William Storey on felony burglary and theft charges.

If Humphrey completes the drug court's treatment program, he will avoid conviction on those charges, officials said.

5NEWS attempted to contact Humphrey's attorney, W.H. Taylor, for clarification on why the case was moved to drug court, but Taylor did not return two phone calls. There was no mention  in the preliminary arrest report of drug usage by Humphrey.

Humphrey and former University of Arkansas football players Andrew Peterson and Marquel Wade were arrested May 12 on suspicion of residential burglary in dorm rooms.

Wade and Peterson were sentenced Wednesday (Oct. 17) to six months in the Arkansas Department of Community Correction and also were given 60 months supervised probation.

Peterson's incarceration at a yet-to-be-determined regional facility begins Dec. 31, 2012, while Wade's begins Jan. 30, 2013. Their 5-year probation period includes the six months they'll spend in a state Department of Community Correction facility.

The sentencing occurred in Washington County Circuit Court, Division 1, before Judge Storey. The court date for a third former Razorback player, Humphrey, was rescheduled for Oct. 31. Drug court officials did not know when he was set to appear in court and referred questions to Taylor, Humphrey's lawyer.

As part of their plea bargain agreement, Peterson and Wade each pleaded guilty to one count of residential burglary, a Class B felony. Their felony records can be expunged if they serve their sentences without incident, the judge said.

University of Arkansas police arrested Wade, Peterson and Humphrey on May 12 on suspicion of residential burglary in dorm rooms, according to the arrest report.

Officers initially responded to a burglary complaint on May 1 regarding a laptop that had been stolen from a campus dorm room, the report states. Over the next week, 10 additional stolen property complaints were filed. Those complaints included reports of stolen textbooks, laptops, cash and DVD's.

Surveillance video showed three suspects walking through the hallways, checking doors and entering rooms. The suspects later were identified as Wade, Humphrey and Peterson, the report states.

On May 9, a clerk at the campus bookstore on Dickson Street also identified the three as having been in the bookstore multiple times selling textbooks. Textbooks and other stolen property were recovered from Peterson’s dorm, according to the report.

Storey praised the legal representation Wade and Peterson received and told the two former players each could have been sentenced to 60 years in prison.

"I hope you know how fortunate you are," the judge said, speaking of their sentences.

Fayetteville lawyer Chad L. Atwell represented Wade, while Peterson was represented by lawyer Renae Hudson.

Wide receivers Wade and Humphrey, and tight end Peterson, appeared in June at an arraignment in the Washington County Detention Center with their attorneys and pleaded not guilty to multiple felony charges. A not guilty plea is standard at arraignments, allowing a case to proceed to court.

The three former players appeared before Magistrate Ray Reynolds in June and were given an Aug. 27 trial date. That date was later rescheduled to Oct. 17.

Each was charged with three counts of residential burglary, a Class B felony punishable by five to 20 years in the Arkansas Department of Correction and a fine of up to $15,000. Each also was charged with one count of theft of property, a Class B felony punishable by up to six years in the Department of Correction.

Andrew Peterson (left), Marquel Wade (center), and Maudrecus Humphrey (right) appear at the Washington County Detention Center in June.

The day after being arrested, Wade was released from jail on a $2,500 bond, and Humphrey and Peterson were released on a $3,500 bond. They remained out on bond and left the detention center immediately after their arraignment.

The three remained out on bond Wednesday and appeared in circuit court in civilian clothes.

Since the spring, six Razorback football players have been arrested, including Wade, Peterson and Humphrey. The others are Tyler Gilbert, Jason Peacock and Kane Whitehurst.

Head coach John L. Smith kicked five of the six off the team. The coach allowed Peacock, a starting offensive lineman, to remain on the team.

Peacock recently pleaded guilty in Washington County Circuit Court to misdemeanor theft of property and was sentenced to 10 days in the Washington County Detention Center. He was arrested March 16 on a felony theft of property warrant, records show. He was accused of using a stolen debit card to charge $35.01 for gasoline, police said.

In a prepared statement before the 2012 season began, Arkansas head coach John L. Smith said:

“Marquel Wade, Maudrecus Humphrey and Andrew Peterson have been suspended indefinitely. We have high stands for our student-athletes, and I expect them to conduct themselves appropriately. Poor conduct and misbehavior will not be tolerated and is not what we expect from the University of Arkansas football program.”