RyanLeafVertMug.jpg
Ryan Leaf
Sporting a black-and-white-striped prison jumpsuit, shackles and handcuffs, the man responsible for leading the Washington State Cougars to the team's first Rose Bowl

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Ryan Leaf Back in Court, Pleads Guilty as Part of Plea Agreement, Still a Colossal Bust

RyanLeafVertMug.jpg
Ryan Leaf
Sporting a black-and-white-striped prison jumpsuit, shackles and handcuffs, the man responsible for leading the Washington State Cougars to the team's first Rose Bowl appearance in 67 years stood in a Montana courtroom yesterday, pleading guilty to one count each of felony burglary and drug possession--stemming from his embarrassing back-to-back arrests in late March and early April.

As has been well documented at this point, Leaf has battled a crippling pain-pill addiction for some time. His guilty pleas came as part of a deal negotiated with the Cascade County Attorney's Office that recommends the former second overall pick in the 1998 NFL draft spend nine months in in-patient drug treatment and six more months in a pre-release center. According to the Great Falls Tribune, the agreement recommends a total five-year commitment to the Montana Department of Corrections, though any time after Leaf's stays in the two aforementioned facilities is likely to be suspended.

The Tribune also notes that the agreement is non-binding, meaning the sentencing judge, District Judge Kenneth Neill, is not required to follow it.

Adding insult to injury, an Associated Press account of Leaf's appearance in court notes that Judge Neill denied Leaf's request for a bail reduction, pointing out that the former quarterback was out on bond when he was arrested a second time.

Ouch.

As the AP reminds us:

Leaf was arrested twice in his hometown this spring after a monthlong investigation that began with a tip that the former San Diego Chargers quarterback and Washington State standout was receiving suspicious packages at the post office.

Police arrested Leaf on March 30 after an acquaintance said Leaf had entered his house without permission and stole oxycodone pills.

Leaf posted bail that afternoon, but was arrested two days later after a couple identified him as the stranger they found inside their home before they discovered three different prescription medications missing.

Leaf took the stand yesterday, recounting the sad facts that led to his most recent legal trouble with his lawyer, Kenneth Olson.

From the Great Falls Tribune:

Leaf kept the answers to Olson's questions brief, mostly answering "yes" or "no." He did say more when asked about the prospect of receiving supervised drug treatment as part of his sentence.

"I'm very much looking forward to that opportunity," Leaf said. "An intensive nine months in a rehab facility is what's presently needed at this point."

As you'll recall, Leaf's arrest(s) in Montana complicated a 2010 plea agreement from Texas, from which Leaf was serving a 10-year suspended sentence that was the result of the one-time star pleading guilty to seven counts of fraudulently obtaining drugs and delivery of a simulated controlled substance. In that case Leaf was accused of, and later admitted to, stealing painkillers from players while he was a coach at West Texas A&M University.

While Tuesday's plea agreement means Leaf's most recent legal trouble in Montana is nearing a conclusion (sentencing is scheduled for June 19), the fact that he was arrested in Montana while on probation in Texas means more punishment is likely to come.

Making now the perfect time to read Leaf's autobiographical book, 596 Switch, or catch up on The Leaf List.

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