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NC State RB Thornton in legal trouble, suspended indefinitely

By Chip Patterson | College Football/Basketball Writer

NC State running back Shadrach Thornton is in legal trouble again.  (USATSI)
NC State running back Shadrach Thornton has been suspended indefinitely. (USATSI)

NC State leading rusher Shadrach Thornton is a suspect in a sexual battery case, according to search warrants released to the media this week.

Thornton and freshman safety J.J. Jones were also charged with misdemeanor marijuana possession and drug paraphernalia possession on Wednesday. According to the News & Observer, the charges came as a result of two detectives investigating the sexual battery, which was reported Monday.

The school announced Thursday evening that Thornton has been suspended indefinitely and Jones plans to transfer.

More details, via the Joe Giglio of the N&O:

The suspected sexual battery was reported on Monday, according to a police affidavit. On Wednesday, two detectives visited Thornton's apartment in a complex at 2717 Western Boulevard in Raleigh.

The officers reportedly smelled marijuana and found several stems from the plant, along with a marijuana cigarette and paraphernalia, according to the affidavit. Teammates Marchez Coates and Juston Burris were listed as residents of the apartment, as were “Jarnur Jones” and “Jamor Jones,” both apparent references to J.J. Jones, a reserve freshman safety.

Police searched the apartment on Thursday. They found two parts of hand-rolled cigarettes, marijuana stems and a screen for a “grinder” in a common area, according to an inventory of items police say they seized.

In Thornton's bedroom, police said they seized .3 grams of marijuana, three parts of marijuana cigarettes, and three plastic bags of tobacco. In Jones' bedroom, police said they seized a plastic shopping bag of tobacco and marijuana stems, and five pills of Naproxen, an anti-pain and anti-inflammation drug, that apparently belonged to a person named Carlos Gray, according to the inventory.

Thornton was suspended for NC State's season opener against Louisiana Tech after being charged by campus police with assault on a female in June. The drug charge, at a minimum, will result in revisiting that case due Thornton's deferred prosecution agreement.

Maj. David Kelly of the NCSU Police Dept. declined to comment on the sexual battery case, citing the ongoing investigation. At this time the sophomore running back is only a suspect in the case.

Thornton, a sophomore, has led the Wolfpack in rushing each of the last two seasons, totaling 1,462 rushing yards and eight total touchdowns in 20 career games.

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