Though it initially was reported by ESPN.com as an attempt by Browns receiver Donte’ Stallworth to reduce the amount of time he’ll spend on “community control” (i.e., “house arrest lite”), lawyer David Cornwell tell us that today’s hearing was aimed only at obtaining advance approval for Stallworth to work out during his two-year term.
The link to the ESPN.com story from our prior item regarding this matter currently goes to an article regarding the outcome of the hearing — that Stallworth will be permitted to train outside of his home five days per week. But when we published the item earlier today, the ESPN.com story plainly stated that the hearing was aimed at reducing the house arrest and ensuing probation.
Cornwell pointed out to us that the June 16 hearing approving Stallworth’s plea deal included comments from the Judge acknowledging that Stallworth will be permitted to pursue his profession “and everything that’s incident to that.” Cornwell said that, instead of presuming that this phrase means Stallworth is permitted to attend workouts away from his house, a decision was made to secure specific approval of such activities.
“Rather than simply adding training sessions to Donte’s weekly schedule,” Cornwell told us via e-mail, “we thought it prudent, based on the Court’s comments, to seek formal Court approval and placed such a request on the Court’s calendar well over a month ago. The schedules for the Court and the prosecution, however, resulted in the hearing being continued and then ultimately heard today.
“Rather than seeking to reduce or alter the terms of the plea agreement, we made a ‘housecleaning’ motion to formalize an issue that the Court addressed at the plea hearing.”
We suppose this is the point where we should apologize to Stallworth, but we were merely repeating what ESPN.com was reporting. Given that ESPN has secured an exclusive interview with Stallworth, we assumed that their information regarding Stallworth was accurate.