Attorney: LSU RB Jeremy Hill was provoked before fight
Jeremy Hill's attorney told the Associated Press the LSU running back was heckled about his troubled past before a fight broke out.
Marci Blaize told the Associated Press Thursday that the video of the incident used by police does not show the events leading up to the altercation. The attorney said she is in the process of lining up witness interviews to paint a more complete picture of the events that evening.
"There's no denying he's on the video, but the video is 15 seconds long and certainly doesn't tell you everything that happened that evening," Blaize told the AP. "In my experience and the cases I've had, there's usually a reason why a person will strike another individual and I can tell you that's the case here."
Hill was suspended indefinitely by LSU on Monday, and a school spokesman confirmed that coach Les Miles has no plans to comment further on the matter until the incident "plays out through the legal system."
According to police, Hill punched the alleged victim in the head before a second, previously unidentified suspect knocked the victim unconscious. On Friday Baton Rouge police Lt. Don Kelly announced that the second suspect is Robert Bayardo, a 20-year-old with no connection to LSU football.
Bayardo has been booked with felony second-degree battery following his arrest Friday morning.
Hill's attorney argued Thursday that the LSU running back, who was charged with misdemeanor simple battery, does not know the second suspect.
"The video is clear that they approach the victim at different times," Blaize said. "They're not working in tandem. You can tell they don't know each other."
These details are becoming important for Hill's football future, because if he is convicted, the Baton Rouge native would be in violation of his probation from previous incident in which he pled guilty to carnal knowledge of a juvenile in January 2011. Hill was a member of LSU's 2011 recruiting class, but his arrival was delayed due to an arrest on charges of oral sexual battery. He finally signed with the Tigers in December 2011 after serving a six-month suspended sentence with supervised probation for two years.
The Tigers' offense received a noticeable boost when Hill emerged as the primary back midway through his freshman season in 2012. After recording 684 yards and 10 touchdowns in the final seven games, hopes were high that Hill and returning starting quarterback Zach Mettenberger would anchor LSU's offense in 2013.
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