The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Sports

April 8, 2013

Ex-Auburn DB pleads guilty to first-degree robbery

— OPELIKA, Ala. (AP) — Former Auburn defensive back Mike McNeil was sentenced to serve at least three years in prison Monday after pleading guilty to first-degree robbery for an incident his attorney characterized as "possibly a prank."

Lee County Circuit Judge Christopher Hughes accepted McNeil's plea deal Monday as his trial was set to begin. Under the deal, McNeil received a 15-year split sentence: He must serve three years, plus three years of supervised probation, and pay $2,000 in restitution. If he violates any terms, the judge could sentence him to the remainder of the 15 years.

McNeil, 24, and three teammates from the Tigers' 2010 national championship team were charged with armed robbery and dismissed from the team in March 2011. Antonio Goodwin is serving a 15-year sentence while Dakota Mosley and Shaun Kitchens are awaiting trial.

The judge accepted a "best-interest" plea where McNeil didn't have to admit guilt. McNeil responded "Yes, sir" when Hughes asked if he believed prosecutors had enough evidence to produce a guilty plea.

McNeil's attorney, Ben Hand, said there was some evidence the alleged robbery at a mobile home was a prank that went awry.

"If you look back at Mike's history, he has a real good history," Hand said. "He worked with Fellowship of Christian Athletes, did a lot of good things. Worked with children in a hospital, always had a good reputation. And what could be portrayed as possibly a prank ended up very bad.

"He was distressed about it. Any time you're facing going to prison, that's tough. But he understood what the law was and understood what could have happened."

Witnesses at Goodwin's trial had testified that McNeil had a gun in the robbery at a mobile home. Hand said information could have come out at trial to support the contention that it was a prank. He said "everybody seemed to know everybody" at the home, but some people were present that they didn't realize would be there.

Text Only
Sports
  • Tributes planned to mark Boston Marathon bombing

    The anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombings started with a solemn wreath-laying ceremony Tuesday morning at the site of the twin explosions, the first tribute in a day dedicated to honoring the three people who died, the more than 260 people who were injured, and the first responders, doctors and nurses who helped them.

    April 15, 2014

  • Olympic great Michael Phelps ending retirement

    April 14, 2014

  • Bubba Watson wins another green jacket at Augusta

    One of golf's most exciting players squeezed most of the drama out of the Masters on Sunday. That's just fine with Bubba Watson.

    April 14, 2014

  • Mechanic gives himself belated 50th birthday gift

    Miguel Angel Jimenez gave himself a belated 50th birthday gift: one of the best rounds ever for a senior golfer at Augusta National.

    April 12, 2014

  • Prosecutor: Pistorius' story doesn't add up

    The prosecutor cross-examining Oscar Pistorius in his murder trial Friday tried to shred his version of events the night he shot and killed his girlfriend, saying they do not add up and go against how people would react in the situation the double-amputee Olympian has described.

    April 11, 2014

  • Haas grabs Masters lead with 68, Scott in the mix

    With dad in his ear, Bill Haas turned in the best round of his Masters career Thursday.

    Now he wants to do what his father never could — finish the job.

    April 10, 2014

  • Rookies grab early Masters lead, Scott in the mix

    A pair of Masters rookies grabbed the early lead at Augusta National on Thursday, while defending champion Adam Scott was off to a strong start in his quest to keep the green jacket.

    April 10, 2014

  • Masters opens with Woods on the sideline

    The Masters is underway with three shots right down the middle of the fairway. Just not terribly far.

    Arnold Palmer, Gary Player and Jack Nicklaus hit the ceremonial tee shots Thursday morning with fans already lining both sides of the first fairway. Still competitive even after all these years, Nicklaus went last and hit a drive that went about a yard past Player's shot.

    April 10, 2014

  • The anticipation and mystery of the Masters

    A quick stroll across the manicured landscape of Augusta National afforded a glimpse of why this Masters is so hard to figure out.

    April 9, 2014

  • Without Tiger, the Masters has an open look

    One after another, some of the world's best players and favorites to win the Masters trudged up the hill on the opening hole to start their practice rounds.

    April 9, 2014

Poll

A recent national telephone survey found 75 percent of respondents believe the sale and use of pot will eventually be legal nationwide. Do you think marijuana should be legal in Alabama?

Yes
No
No, but I don’t think pot smokers should go to jail
Yes, but only for medical use
Yes, but only for personal adult use
     View Results
Facebook
AP Video
Raw: Ferry Sinks Off South Korean Coast Town, Victims Remember Texas Blast Freeze Leaves Florida Panhandle With Dead Trees At Boston Marathon, a Chance to Finally Finish Are School Dress Codes Too Strict? Raw: Fatal Ferry Boat Accident Suspicious Bags Found Near Marathon Finish Line Boston Marks the 1st Anniversary of Bombing NYPD Ends Muslim Surveillance Program 8-year-old Boy Gets His Wish: Fly Like Iron Man Sex Offenders Arrested in Slayings of CA Women India's Transgenders Celebrate Historic Ruling Tributes Mark Boston Bombing Anniversary Raw: Kan. Shooting Suspect Faces Judge
Twitter Updates
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Stocks
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Business Marquee