Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon entered an Alford plea on a misdemeanor assault charge of acts resulting in gross injury after being accused of hitting a female student at a Norman, Okla. restaurant in July, reports KOCO.
An Alford plea means that Mixon does not admit to the charge, but admits the prosecution could likely prove the charge. Mixon faced a January trial date, a year in jail and a $500 fine if he did not take the plea.
Mixon’s one-year sentence was deferred. He will have to perform 100 hours of community service, undergo cognitive behavior counseling and pay standard misdemeanor fines, according to the Cleveland County, Okla. district attorney’s office.
Oklahoma suspended Mixon for the entire 2014 season, and he has been excluded from all team activities as police investigated him for assault. According to a report from that night, a unnamed male, later identified as Mixon, “assaulted a woman inside the restaurant, and the woman suffered apparent broken bones."
Last month, the Norman Police Department allowed media members to view a two and a half minute security video of the incident in question.
Mixon's attorney released a statement after the plea deal was reached:
"Today, Joe has made the decision that entering an Alford Plea to the misdemeanor and accepting the short period of probation was the best course of action at this point in his life. Joe does not want to be a further distraction to his family, friends, teammates, and the University of Oklahoma,” Mixon’s attorney Kevin Finlay said in a statement. “Joe would like to apologize to everyone affected by this unfortunate chain of events. Joe looks forward to continuing towards his goal of becoming a successful student and athlete at the University of Oklahoma."
Mixon was the top-rated all-purpose back in this year’s recruiting class, according to Rivals.com, and was expected to receive significant playing time after Oklahoma lost its top three leading rushers from last year.
- Scooby Axson