MISSOULA – University of Montana running back Jeremy Calhoun pleaded guilty to misdemeanor assault in Missoula County Justice Court Wednesday following an incident that occurred at a downtown Missoula bar in May.
Municipal Court Judge Alex Beal, who described the altercation as a “brawl” gave Calhoun a 24-month deferred sentence while also requiring him to serve 100 hours of community service. If he does not violate any laws or the terms of this condition, he can request to have the misdemeanor offense removed from his record. He also received a $500 fine.
Video of Griz running back Jeremy Calhoun sentencing https://t.co/SC1o4aLtk7
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According to court documents, police responded to St. Patrick Hospital after receiving reports that a fight had resulted in serious injuries. Missoula police then interviewed the victim and two friends who told officers that Calhoun had struck the victim during a fight between multiple people.
During the interview, the victim said that he was trying to break up the fight when Calhoun knocked out two of his front teeth.
Calhoun was interviewed by police and admitted to throwing two punches towards the victim and only connecting on one.
Missoula police reviewed surveillance tape of the fight, which showed Calhoun striking another male who was already on the ground. The victim tried to step in and pull Calhoun off of the other male. Calhoun then turned and threw two punches at the victim.
The victim in the assault, Aaron Misipeka-Ward, stated in court that he still cannot work due to his injuries and will still require more surgery and treatment as he continues to recover.
Appearing alongside her son, Calhoun’s mother said in court that her son was not a violent person and that her family was remorseful for the incident. Calhoun’s defense attorney, John Smith, also said the family has consistently offered to pay medical expenses, and had already paid nearly $10,000 to victim’s family.
Before Beal handed down his sentence, Calhoun’s defense attorney insisted on a deferred sentence so the incident would not stay on Calhoun’s record and 40 hours of community service. Prosecutors wanted as much as 200 hours community service and six month’s deferred jail time, so that the charge would stay on his record.
Calhoun will be booked into and released from the Missoula County jail to satisfy court procedures. Terms of the deferred sentence also prohibit the use of alcohol, drugs or being in an establishment that primarily serves alcohol, like a bar or casino. Other terms include no contact with the victim and being required to submit to substance use testing if police suspect any use.
Story by Augusta McDonnell, MTN News