Notre Dame's Butler pleads guilty to misdemeanor in fracas
SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) Suspended Notre Dame cornerback Devin Butler has pleaded guilty to misdemeanor resisting law enforcement following an altercation with police outside a bar near campus.
Butler, a senior, released a public letter of apology to one of the officers, Aaron Knepper. Under a plea agreement made public Monday, he will avoid jail time and complete 24 hours of community service. He'll also pay $145 restitution for damage to Knepper's clothing and equipment.
Butler was accused of tackling and punching Knepper during the August altercation. Felony charges of resisting law enforcement and battery against a public safety official were reduced to the misdemeanor under the plea agreement. Butler has been placed on pretrial diversion for one year.
The St. Joseph County Prosecutor's Office said the plea deal was reached after Butler ''demonstrated remorse for his own actions'' and was willing to ''to acknowledge not only his actions, but his unequivocal acknowledgement that the officers conducted themselves appropriately and professionally while effectuating the arrest.''
Some witnesses had claimed Butler did nothing wrong. In his letter of apology, Butler told Knepper he was trying to separate others involved in a fight.
''I understand how you and the other officers could have reasonably perceived me to have been the aggressor. I regret that this occurred and I acknowledge that my arrest was due to my own actions and that the officers acted appropriately,'' the letter said.
South Bend Police Chief Scott Ruszkowski on Friday cleared the officers involved in Butler's arrest of any wrongdoing.
Coach Brian Kelly suspended Butler indefinitely shortly after the arrest. Team spokesman Michael Bertsch said there is no change in Butler's status with the team.