Three Michigan St. Football Players Charged

Thursday, October 25th 2007, 12:29 pm
By: News On 6

EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) _ Starting linebacker SirDarean Adams, starting cornerback T.J. Williams and one other Michigan State football player have been charged with unarmed robbery stemming from an April incident in the parking lot of a store, authorities said.

Adams, Williams and reserve Jeremy Ware each were arraigned Wednesday in 55th District Court in Mason on a felony robbery charge, the court said, and Williams also was charged with misdemeanor assault and battery in the April 21 incident in Meridian Township near East Lansing.

The court record didn't indicate whether they entered pleas or were represented by lawyers, but a pretrial hearing was set for Oct. 30 on the robbery case.

There was no answer Thursday at a telephone listing for Ware in East Lansing. Contact information for Adams and Williams wasn't found in a search of Michigan State's online directory.

Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio said in a statement that didn't name the players that they have maintained their innocence. He said the team was notified in April about the case and has monitored the situation.

Dantonio said the players will remain on the roster and continue to have the opportunity to play.

``In fairness to the student-athletes alleged to have been involved in the incident, the prudent decision is to allow the legal process to continue to run its full course and for the truth to be determined,'' Dantonio said.

Police in Meridian Township confirmed that the incident took place in their jurisdiction, but declined to release any details and referred questions to the Ingham County prosecutor's office.

Prosecutor Stuart Dunnings III said the three players are charged in an incident that took place in a grocery store parking lot outside a nearby party. He said he couldn't release other details.

The case first was brought to prosecutors in April, but was sent back to police for further investigation at least twice before a decision recently was made to bring charges, Dunnings said.

Unarmed robbery is punishable by up to 15 years in prison, but if convicted the three likely would face a lower sentence, Dunnings said. The assault and battery charge is punishable by up to 93 days behind bars.

The Spartans (5-3, 1-3 Big Ten) play Saturday at Iowa (3-5, 1-4).

Both Adams, 22, and Williams, 21, are listed as starters against the Hawkeyes. Williams earlier faced disciplinary action for undisclosed reasons that moved him down the depth chart after spring practice.

Adams, a senior from Bradenton, Fla., has played in all of Michigan State's games this season, while Williams, a sophomore from Tallahassee, Fla., has played in six. Both started last weekend against No. 1 Ohio State.

Ware, 21, is a sophomore from Fort Myers, Fla.