Former Razorbacks No Longer Behind Bars

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Former Razorback football players Marquel Wade and Andrew Peterson were released from incarceration this month from Arkansas Department of Community Correction facilities, officials said.

Wade, a wide receiver, was released Monday (July 22) from the department’s Southwest Center in Texarkana, while Peterson, a tight end, was released July 1 from the department’s Northeast Center in Osceola, officials said.

Both are on supervised probation until October 2017, officials said.

Wade and Peterson were sentenced in October to six months in the Arkansas Department of Community Correction and also were given 60 months supervised probation on residential burglary convictions. The probation period includes the six months each spent in the state Department of Community Correction facility.

Peterson’s incarceration began December. Wade’s began in January.

As part of a 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, according to court records.

Wade, Peterson and Maudrecus Humphrey, another former Arkansas wide receiver, were arrested in May 2012 on suspicion of residential burglary in dorm rooms on the campus in Fayetteville. Humphrey’s case was later assigned to the county Drug Court. If he completes the Drug Court’s year-long treatment program, he will avoid conviction on those charges, officials said.

Officers initially responded to a burglary complaint on May 1 regarding a laptop that had been stolen from a campus dorm room, an arrest 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 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.

Washington County Circuit Judge William 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.

Wade, Humphrey and Peterson appeared in June 2012 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 are seen at their arraignment in the photo accompanying this story. Peterson is at left, Wade is in the center, and Humphrey is at right.)

Each was charged with three counts of residential burglary, 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.