Grand jury hears evidence in LSU bar fight case

Published 12:01 am Thursday, September 22, 2011

BATON ROUGE (AP) — A grand jury finished its first hearing on Wednesday in the case of a bar fight in which suspended Tigers quarterback Jordan Jefferson is accused of kicking a man in the face.

East Baton Rouge Parish District Attorney Hiller Moore said the grand jury is scheduled to reconvene next Wednesday, when Jefferson and reserve linebacker Josh Johns will be invited to testify. Jefferson’s attorneys, Lewis and Lance Unglseby, said Jefferson will testify and would have done so in the first hearing if asked.

Next week’s hearing probably will be the grand jury’s last concerning Jefferson’s and John’s roles in the Aug. 19 fight, Moore said.

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The grand jury will then decide which charges — if any — are appropriate for the two players, who were arrested Aug. 26 and booked with felony second-degree battery.

Moore did not disclose any details about the evidence discussed at the first grand jury hearing, which he is forbidden from doing by law.

The two players have been suspended from the team since they turned themselves in and were freed on bond. They remain enrolled at LSU, and head coach Les Miles said Wednesday they would be welcomed back to the second-ranked Tigers if cleared of the charges against them.

“I think our football team certainly misses a teammate and the opportunity for him to return to this team is something that all of us would look forward to,” Miles said. “You’d like to have your team back intact.”

LSU has played three games, winning all by double digits, and returns to action on Saturday night at No. 16 West Virginia. Senior quarterback Jarrett Lee has been starting in Jefferson’s place.

Police have said dozens of LSU players were present when the fight erupted in a parking lot outside a bar called Shady’s near LSU’s campus. Afterward, four men sought treatment at hospitals. One of them, Andrew Lowery, told police Jefferson and Johns beat and kicked him.

Defense attorneys have said their clients are innocent.

Jefferson’s attorneys have said the quarterback’s only role in the melee was to pull teammates away, and say numerous witnesses back their version of events.