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Berry expected to plead guilty to charges

Thomas Bradley / Campus editor

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Former Ohio State running back Jaamal Berry is expected to plead guilty to criminal charges from an October incident, said Robert Tobias, assistant prosecutor assigned to the case.

After three court continuations, the case is to be settled outside of court with a plea hearing scheduled for June 26, Tobias said. Berry will be on probation for one year in Ohio, and will be required to pay court fees and complete community service hours.

Tobias said Berry’s attorneys told him that Berry has returned to his home state of Florida, where he said he expects Berry will complete his community service hours before the plea hearing.

The type of probation Berry will be under will allow him to return to Florida while still on probation in Ohio, as long as he has satisfied all other conditions before doing so.

While in Florida, Berry is “not to engage in any same or similar type behavior and to stay away from the victim,” Tobias said.

After Berry’s pre-trial Feb. 8, Tobias said Berry’s defense attorney expressed Berry’s desire to transfer to another school.

“It was told to me by the defense attorney that he was not on the team anymore and that he had a desire to relocate for school somewhere else out of state,” Tobias said.

Also after the pre-trial, Berry’s attorney William Meeks said Berry remained in good standing as a student and on scholarship but is no longer a part of the football team.

Dolan, Evanovich, Vice President for Strategic Enrollment Planning, said Berry is not enrolled in classes for Spring Quarter.

Berry and Meeks did not return multiple requests for comment Tuesday.

The pre-trial was the first meaningful discussion among those involved in the case, which has been continued because Berry’s defense is challenging his identification by the alleged victim.

“The identification in the case, we think, is probably constitutionally faulty,” Meeks said in court. “We are challenging, by a not-guilty plea, the alleged assault in this case.”

The victim has asked to remain anonymous and did not immediately return requests for comment Tuesday.

Berry was suspended from the football team Nov. 2 after being charged with assault, battery and disorderly conduct.

The charges were based on an incident that occurred Oct. 21 at 2:20 a.m. in the Arena District in downtown Columbus, involving Berry and a Columbus State Community College student.

On Dec. 27, Berry pleaded not guilty to the charges and jury time for the case was waived, according to court documents. In the incident, the plaintiff was “struck in the face with a closed fist,” according to the Columbus Division of Police report. The plaintiff was treated at the hospital following the incident for injuries to his head, face, neck, back and hand. He was also ruled as having a possible concussion and eye damage, said Edwin Hollern, the plaintiff’s attorney, on Oct. 27.

Hollern previously said the remedy for the incident is compensatory damages and punitive damages, asking $25,000 for each, according to court documents.

The victim’s civil suit against Berry is ongoing.

On Sept. 28, Berry was involved in what an OSU Police report described as an “assault” on another student. Berry was admitted and released from the Wexner Medical Center at OSU and no charges were filed. In this incident, two males were witnessed “wrestling on the ground” on the South Oval, according to a police report.

In “Sports Illustrated’s” special edition of the Big Ten Preview, published Aug. 16, Berry was featured on the cover as an up-and-coming running back for the OSU Buckeyes. In 2009, Berry was arrested on a marijuana possession charge in Miami. Berry dressed for the Michigan State game on Oct. 1, the first game after his Sept. 28 incident. He was also dressed for the Wisconsin game on Oct. 29, the first game after he was named in a lawsuit for the second incident.

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