Cowboys' Newton sentenced in drug case
DALLAS, Texas (Court TV) -- Former Dallas Cowboys offensive lineman Nate Newton was sentenced to 30 months in federal prison on August 14 after pleading guilty to drug charges.
Newton, 40, was apprehended with 175 pounds of marijuana in his truck last December. He pleaded guilty in April to conspiracy to distribute and possession with intent to distribute. Newton also was fined $25,000 and ordered to perform 250 hours of community service, lecturing students about the importance of avoiding drugs.
By pleading guilty, Newton avoided a possible 20-year sentence and a $1 million fine. He is scheduled to report to prison on October 8.
Authorities found $10,000 cash in his truck and the marijuana in an accompanying vehicle. The driver of the other car, Charles Deaundra Howard, 25, and a third suspect, Billy Crenshaw also pleaded guilty.
At the time of his arrest, Newton was free on bail for a similar incident in Louisiana. He is accused of driving a van with 213 pounds of marijuana on November 4, 2001. The case is pending.
Newton played 13 seasons in Dallas and was named to the Pro Bowl six times. He also helped the Cowboys win three Super Bowls in the 1990s. He retired in 1999 after playing one season with the Carolina Panthers.
Former NBA player pleads guilty to kidnapping
BINGHAMTON, New York -- Former NBA forward Sylvester "Sly" Williams pleaded guilty August 19 to kidnapping charges just before jury selection was to begin for his trial.
Williams, 44, was charged with first-degree rape, sodomy and first-degree kidnapping for allegedly holding a woman captive for about 24 hours and threatening her with a knife in September 2001. He was also accused of raping a second woman in January. The two cases were consolidated.
Williams will be sentenced Friday and could face up to five years in prison.
Williams, a college star at Rhode Island, was a first round draft pick by the Knicks in 1979. He played for the Celtics in 1985, but was released before the end of the season. Williams was working for a pipe and plastics company at the time of his arrest.
Judge refuses bail for ex-NFL player Spellman
PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania -- Former NFL defensive lineman Alonzo Spellman will remain in jail while he awaits trial for airline rage.
A federal judge denied bail on August 13, ruling that Spellman is dangerous and should not be released.
Spellman was charged August 2 with terrorizing 138 people on a flight from Cincinnati to Philadelphia, forcing the plane to make an emergency landing.
During the July 23 flight, Spellman allegedly said the plane was going to crash, shouted obscenities and threatened the flight attendants. The pilot was given permission to land ahead of schedule at Philadelphia International Airport while other flights were diverted.
Spellman was allowed to leave the airport after being questioned by the police. He was arrested and taken to a psychiatric hospital after causing another disturbance later in the day at his brother's home in Mount Holly, New Jersey. He allegedly tore down a screen door and broke windows and pictures around the house. His brother was not home at the time, and no one was injured.
Spellman, who was charged with interfering with a flight crew, has a history of behavioral problems. He underwent treatment at a Chicago hospital in 1998 following an armed standoff with police. Spellman was charged last month with drunken driving in Michigan but missed a scheduled July 23 court date.
Spellman was released by the Detroit Lions last October, possibly bringing an end to his career. A 1992 first-round draft choice out of Ohio State, Spellman recorded 247 tackles and 43 sacks throughout his career.
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