Pats’ Alfonzo Dennard convicted of felony assault on police officer

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Patriots cornerback Alfonzo Dennard could be sentenced to up to six years in prison after he was convicted today of third-degree assault on a police officer, a felony.

A jury in Nebraska began deliberating on Tuesday afternoon and announced its verdict this morning, Lori Pilger of the Lincoln Journal Star reports. In addition to the felony assault charge, Dennard was convicted on a misdemeanor charge of resisting arrest. He was acquitted on a misdemeanor charge of assaulting another man.

The charges stemmed from an incident outside a Lincoln bar just before last year’s NFL draft, when Dennard was accused of punching a cop in the jaw. Dennard had been considered a top cornerback prospect heading into the draft, but he slipped to the seventh round after his arrest. He ended up starting seven regular-season games and both postseason games for the Patriots.

Now it appears that Dennard will be out of action for quite some time. In addition to the potential prison for a lengthy prison sentence, Dennard will almost certainly be suspended by the NFL.

Sentencing is set for April 11.

79 responses to “Pats’ Alfonzo Dennard convicted of felony assault on police officer

  1. Why would the league suspend him for something that happened before he was drafted?

    Michael David Smith: Because the NFL reserves the right to discipline players for criminal convictions, even if the incident leading to the conviction happened when the person was not an NFL player. Agree or disagree with the reasoning, that’s the NFL’s stance.

  2. Why would he be suspended for something that happened pre-draft when Kendrick Ellis wasn’t last summer when he was sentenced to jail time for something that happened before he was drafted?

  3. If the Bengals (a few years ago) or Lions (lately) would’ve drafted this guy they would’ve gotten blasted.
    Since it’s the Pats it will still be seen as a great move and a steal of the draft.

  4. Well, the Patriots knew this was a possibility. Let’s see what happens at the sentencing hearing.

    I’m sure Bill Belechick had something to do with this…he is always involved in everything that happens.

    Time to get going Patriot haters…let the Beli’cheat’ comments commence!

  5. I doubt he spends that much time in prison. I think it was his first offense.

    He’ll be on the field in September.

  6. Between him and Edelman, THIS is the new Patriot Way. Night club assaults on women and assault on Police Officers, Mr. Kraft should be proud of his guys.

  7. It’s a 7th round pick. They knew the risk drafting him.

    How can Goodell suspend a guy from the NFL for doing something when he wasn’t a league member?

    I still doubt there is any prison time. Ray Lewis is a star of the NFL and he stabbed two guys to death. Makes punching a cop seem pretty light?

  8. Another young man who doesn’t see the god given talent he wasted. So many people in America struggling to make it day to day and this kid pisses it all away with one punch. I will never understand. Just give me a chance, I promise I will stay out of trouble for the chance to get my family financially stable for years to come.

  9. Judges don’t like crimes against cops. Being a felony he’ll probably get a year. Since sentencing is in April even with time off for good behavior (and I don’t if Nebraska has that) this season is likely shot for him.

  10. This is a franchise in the last few years that has signed Albert Haynesworth, traded a pick for Ocho Cinco, and drafted Dennard…..all busts. Other organizations would be getting crushed for these type of boneheaded decisions, with the Pats it’s just a “risk” that didn’t work out.

  11. As a Pats fan, can I just say reading that he was convicted made me throw up in my mouth?

    Finally we get some decent play out of a rookie in the CB position and now he’s potentially going to be Vern Schillingers prison b***h for a few years?

    for cryin out loud… infuriates me to no end.

  12. Between him and Edelman, THIS is the new Patriot Way. Night club assaults on women and assault on Police Officers, Mr. Kraft should be proud of his guys.


    I shouldn’t respond to trollbait, but what the hell.

    You do know that Edelman wasn’t convicted of anything, because the security camera at the club clearly showed that he didn’t assault a woman?

    Dennard was drafted in the 7th round due to this case hanging over his head out of college; without it he was likely going in the 3rd or 4th. So really, the Pats jumped in knowing that this case could cause problems down the round. For a 7th rounder it was worth the risk.

  13. He won’t get prison time unless they throw the book at him. He’s a young NFL player with money and probably decent lawyers. If this is his first offense probation will be all he gets.

  14. He should get all 6 years. Anyone who would assault a police officer would do much much worse to regular citizens and will one day unless he is taught a hard lesson

  15. The Pats typically invest in players whose character concerns are mitigated by coaches, scouts, etc. whose opinion they trust.

    I’m sure Belichick saw this as a possibility and I’m sure he was given plenty of information verifying that the kid made a mistake.

    With that said, trust in our police seems to be waning lately and I hope these claims against Dennard are legit.

  16. He was convicted of a felony, so stop comparing him to players like Ray Lewis, who’s crimes might be worse, but were never convicted.

    He is clearly going to do some jail time, he assaulted a police officer. The only question is, is it minimal b/c first time offense or do they throw the book at him?

    Lastly, the week before the draft, he throws a punch at a drunk for bumping into him, and then punches anyone who tries to apprehend him. The guy clearly has issues, so whether he gets a long jail time or not, there’s no chance this is the last time he gets in trouble with the law. Patriots with good character players (except Harrison) 3-0 in SBs with Brady. With multiple character issues 0-2.

  17. We will see what God-del and his henchman do with one of the darlings of the North. This one the player was convicted not like some that has been suspended in the past. So step or time to step down God-del.

  18. Call me a liberal but 6 years for punching someone seems a little harsh. I think 6 months sounds more like a just sentence.

  19. Yea…assaulting an officer and resisting arrest…surely he’ll see no jail time and be on the field week one after being convicted by a jury…

    That’s almost as funny as Pats being favored by 9 against the Ravens in the AFCC and every single sports media outlet thinking they were going to crush Baltimore.

  20. This weekend on Twitter he was talking about hanging out at the mall and going to eat with friends. You would think a guy on trial would have gone on a social media silence. Makes you wonder if he didn’t take this serious and thought he would be found not guilty. Patriots are in trouble.

  21. Ray Lewis didn’t stab anybody, his posse did. Then he didn’t give police info about it — sketchy yes, but he didn’t stab those guys.

    Typical ghetto athlete that thinks he’s above the law. Punching a cop in the jaw? He should’ve been tazed and billy-clubbed a bit. Hope he at least gets a few weeks in the pokey, but I’m sure he won’t miss any NFL time. Ridiculous.

  22. Hard to imagine this guy not doing prison time for a felony. It may not be much time, but my guess any time he misses will not be due to a league suspension, but rather a prison sentence.

  23. Wonder if they sentence him to jail time in the off season, possibly spit it up. If they get to sentencing and he goes to jail soon he can do 5 months before August camp starts.

    Then maybe 5 more months next off season, doubtful he gets the full 6 years for a first felony conviction but I admit I don’t know anything about Nebraska sentencing.

  24. People get your facts straight. 1) He was confronted by a cop in plain clothes, amid mass confusion and chaos. 2) A second cop who originally said he didn’t see the punch thrown later testified that he in fact did ( covering for a coworker?) I’m not saying Dennard didn’t throw the punch, but if you were in his shoes amidst all this chaos don’t you think there was a chance he was only trying to protect himself? Lots of people on this site would have done what he did. There’s a good chance that if the officer was in uniform he would have acted differently. Because of this the man could potentially lose 6 years of his life and earning ability.

  25. Just read sentencing is in April but that there is no minimum requirement. He will probably get a few months and 6 years probation.

  26. You punch a cop, you go to prison. It may only be for a year or two, depending on his record, but still.

    And you don’t have to worry about him saving up his salary from last year. Seventh round draft money all belongs to his trial lawyers now.

  27. [insert tired Bengals punchline here]

    Wait, I forgot that we aren’t supposed to make Bengals jokes about the Patriots.

  28. My prediction: 2 year sentence….all suspended pending successful completion of anger management and probation. The NFL will attempt to suspend him and he will win the appeal.

  29. Aqib Talib’s value to the Patriots just went up, as did his price. As for Dennard (or any other idiot that hits a policeman), whatever sentence he gets he deserves.

  30. kingmeech

    as long as we’re getting our facts straight. I want to point out that in his own words, Dennard said he knew it was a police officer that he shoved, he is denying that he punched him though. So the whole ‘street clothes’ argument is invalid.

  31. People can hate on the players and the coach pats fans don’t care but don’t insult Bob Kraft that’s just stupidity and ignorance he’s a great man and a great owner. I bet no one other than Pats fans or residents in New England know just how great he is and what he’s done for the New England community along with his late wife. Ignorant haters just look at the team he owns and snap judge him like the terrible people they are.

  32. Have to love all the well educated comments on this site, especially the comments about Edelman. Lets not let the facts/truth get in the way of the Patriot envy that exists on this site.

    Dennard has never been in trouble with ther law and will probably end up getting probation and a substantial fine. As pointed out above, Kendrick Ellis was sentenced to jail time for a crime he committed in college and the NFL could not suspend him .

    Dennard made a mistake and will pay for his crime but I seriously doubt you will see jail time.

    Keep up the Patriot Envy, we love it !!

  33. kingmeech says: People get your facts straight. 1) He was confronted by a cop in plain clothes, amid mass confusion and chaos.

    What mass confusion and chaos? (was there an earthquake/tornado/hurricane in Lincoln, Nebraska?) Did you know he also hit a student, which was seen by the policeman? Did you know Dennard admitted hitting a man (the student) and resisting arrest? Did you know Dennard said: “I turned around and saw it was a police officer…” Did you know there is a tape of the incident?

    Get your facts straight.

  34. Ok, let’s try this again.

    It’s highly likely that he will spend very little if any time in prison. First time offenders convicted of third degree felonies rarely do. He will most likely get probation and community service.

    And what is the precedent for suspending a player for something he did before he was in the league? Has that happened before?

  35. If Dennard is suspended by the league, it will only show how deep in the pocket the Commish is to the Jets.

    Kendrick Ellis put a guy in the hospital, was sentenced just to 6 months with 3 to be served, and NOT suspended by the league. He didn’t miss even a day of TC. Both incidents happened before they entered the league,

    I would be shocked if Dennard is sentenced to anything more than what Ellis got for doing a whole lot more than the scratch on the neck the police officer wound up with. This is a kid with no prior problems who was caught up in a bar fight. for God’s sake

    PFT might think a suspension is inevitable, but Goodell has already set the precedent with Ellis that makes a suspension of Dennard very unlikely.

  36. Conduct policy time!!!

    This might be a 1/2-1 season suspension if his suspension does not overlap the season. My reason: it’s a cop whom Dennard assaulted.

    New England, sign Charles Woodson now!!!

    You need him when your secondary is bad and when Aqib Talib (if back) needs to have his head on straight for the long run. Talib did his best to do that in 2012, but it’s the long run that matters more.

  37. Love how the Patriot fans always justify their criminal actions!! Love how the Police reports and claims are never accurate! They surely live in glass houses!

  38. bharr170 says:
    Feb 20, 2013 12:05 PM
    If the Bengals (a few years ago) or Lions (lately) would’ve drafted this guy they would’ve gotten blasted.

    Of course they would have, respect is earned, not given.

    Bad teams get made of until they prove themselves, good teams gain the benefit of the doubt, and that’s the way it should be. The same complaint is made about the other consistently good teams like the Steelers, and Giants, etc

  39. bharr170 says:
    Feb 20, 2013 12:05 PM
    If the Bengals (a few years ago) or Lions (lately) would’ve drafted this guy they would’ve gotten blasted.
    Since it’s the Pats it will still be seen as a great move and a steal of the draft.
    If he had been taken in the first or second round, the Pats would have been rightfully blasted as well. Most teams take character risks, including hte Pats, but the ones who get really blasted are the ones who do it early in the draft, or pay them high money in FA or trade high draft picks for them because the risk is too high for the potential reward.

    I can’t help but think Dennard thought that being honest would help him. I don’t think he’s the type of kid who will repeat this behavior, but he has to pay the price for making a bad decision.

  40. A few people have commented towards this end, but I’ll emphasize this: just because the conviction carries a maximum six year prison sentence doesn’t mean Dennard will get anything close to that.

    There are a ridiculous number of factors to take into account here, but the bottom line is that (after looking around myself for a bit) it isn’t hard to find short prison sentences, special-type sentences (such as prison time that allows a person to work outside the prison during the day), and suspended prison sentences.

    It might help that Dennard is an NFL player, or it might hurt him. The specifics of the assault also matter a great deal. So let’s wait and see what the outcome is here.

  41. @kleppnasty I wasn’t aware he said that. Taking your word for it, idk why he didn’t try and reach a plea deal. Between all the allegations coming from both sides, there’s something that doesn’t add up.

  42. He’s not going to prison. 6 years is the statutory maximum – the number that is always reported, the “he could face __ years in prison and a $___ fine” numbers are loved by the media because they’re technically accurate and sound sensational. The statutory maximum, though, is reserved for people in the worst situation at sentencing: lengthy criminal history, demonstrated lack of amenability to probation, particularly egregious conduct in commission if the crime, etc. The question will be how much probationary jail time the guy will do – which is local jail time, not prison.

  43. This all depends on the judge. That said, someone with no history usually can work out a plea deal. Maybe the hang up was the State wanted a felony conviction. Maybe the State wanted prison time. Barring injuries to the officer in my opinion Dennard should get probation and a suspended jail sentence, even after losing a jury trial. But Judges have a lot of discretion and many will impose a trial tax.

  44. There is no way he will be suspended- Kraft has Goodell in his pocket.

    Kraft is probably greasing the prosecuter as we speak.

    The only thing pats fans are missing are floppy shoes and a big red nose. Bunch of holier-than-thou……

  45. “Kraft is probably greasing the prosecuter as we speak. ”

    It’s a little late for that, no?

    He serves six months tops.

  46. Dennard was drafted as a 7th rounder and played well for 1 year. That’s more than a lot of 7th rounders can claim. It was obviously a risky move to draft him, but it didn’t blow up in their face. If the Bengals or Lions (or other teams) handled their risky picks more like this, it would blow up in their face a lot less.

  47. I get a kick out the people who act like they know there will be no jail time. Geographically it makes a big difference regarding the sentencing. This is Nebraska where crime is taken a little more seriously than in Boston where it is commonplace with lesser sentences and people who make excuses.

  48. Niner fan here, but the Pats taking him in the 7th round was a great move when they terribly needed Db help. 1 yr starter for a 7th rder on a team that was a legit Super Bowl contender.

  49. Why did it take almost a year to get around to the trial? Another case of the courts waiting till the season was over.

  50. I’ve never been to Lincoln, Nebraska, but I’d be surprised if the black population was 5%, including Cornhuskers. That jury pool probably looked like a Q-tip convention.

  51. I don’t see him getting more than 90 days-6 months. Reduced for good behavior. Would be less if it wasn’t a cop

    1-He doesn’t have a record
    2-There was almost no damage done to the officer, just a couple small cuts which looked like they came from shaving. So minimal damage, none lasting
    3-Dennard has gone almost a year since and not caused any issues. He’s behaved and is employed. Courts don’t want to ruin futures by being harsh on contributing members of society(so long as the crime wasn’t major). Will give Dennard less reason to continue on his current path if his career is ruined.

    I’m sure this will get him a small amount of prison time, probation and maybe a fine. Maybe a civil suit from the officer, cause he’s in the NFL now lol.

    I’m a Pats fan and he deserves it for hitting the cop(if he did). Still glad we drafted him and hope this doesn’t get him cut.

  52. On field football brovado does not translate to prison. He’d end up somebody’s bitch.

    He’ll get a suspended sentence with an ankle bracelet not allowing him to leave the stadium for the duration of his sentence. Everyone wins. Especially his a$$hole which would get stretched way out of preportion in prison. That would make it tough as a player having to drag his bad a$$ up and down the field before all the fans and their families.

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