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Gator Report

Antonya English

Gators' Dominique Easley won't face charges

3

November

The Gainesville State Atorney's Office will not file charges against Gator DT Dominique Easley for his fight with former Alabama player Reggie Myles. Myles, who played for Alabama from 1998-2001, filed a criminal complaint against Easley on Oct. 1 saying he was attacked outside of Ben Hill Griffin Stadium shortly after Alabama's 38-10 victory over Florida. Myles was also cited for disorderly conduct and was intoxicated, police said.

State Attorney Bill Cervone said in a statement on Thursday that his decision was based on several factors, including the fact that contradictory statements were made by witnesses on both sides, and that alcohol was a contributing factor.

"There is a preference in the law that those who come before the courts seeking the redress of grievances should do so with clean hands,'' Cervone wrote. "In my view, that includes in the criminal as well as the civil courts even though it is the State and not an individual that is the aggrieved party in a criminal case.  There are no clean hands in this situation.  

"There is also no harm done, despite protestations to the contrary, that outweighs these factors.  Any harm to either party is in essence canceled out by the harm to the other party,'' he added.  "To use an appropriate analogy, I am therefore calling off setting penalties and declining to file any criminal charges against either Easley, Myles, or anyone else.''

Cervone commended UPD officers for handling the situation in the manner they did.

His full statement is as follows:

Having reviewed the reports provided by the University Police Department regarding Dominique Easley and Reginald Myles as they relate to events that occurred on October 2, 2011, and the allegations against each of them, I have reached the following conclusions regarding those events.
 First, virtually everyone involved has provided contradictory information in some regard and some of those persons were apparently impaired from drinking to the point where their memory is not reliable in any event.  The only exception to this is Easley, and that may be only because he exercised his constitutional right to remain silent and has said nothing.  He cannot be compelled to do otherwise.  Additionally, it is apparent that at least some of those involved have motives beyond what happened that raise questions of credibility.
 Second, almost everyone involved has behaved badly in some way, including Easley, Myles and several of the witnesses, none of whom can be characterized as neutral or impartial.  In some ways, that bad behavior might be provably criminal against Easley, Myles, or others, but just because it might be doesn't mean that it should be when the cost and likely result of doing so would not warrant that.
 There is a preference in the law that those who come before the courts seeking the redress of grievances should do so with clean hands.  In my view, that includes in the criminal as well as the civil courts even though it is the State and not an individual that is the aggrieved party in a criminal case.  There are no clean hands in this situation. 
 There is also no harm done, despite protestations to the contrary, that outweighs these factors.  Any harm to either party is in essence canceled out by the harm to the other party.  To use an appropriate analogy, I am therefore calling off setting penalties and declining to file any criminal charges against either Easley, Myles, or anyone else. 
 I appreciate and commend UPD for having dealt with this situation by way of sworn complaints rather than having effected multiple arrests with all of the needless expense that would have caused the taxpayers of Alachua County.  There is one further observation I would make that while of no real legal bearing might give this some further context.  Both alcohol and unchecked emotion make people do things they might not otherwise do.  Most if not all of us have experienced or seen that happen in one way or another.  I hope that all involved will learn a lesson from this.  If they do not, the courts cannot make them do so anyhow and we clearly have other more serious matters to devote our time and resources to.
 Finally and in that vein, for those who would criticize or assume some ulterior motive behind this result, let me offer some perspective.  Since October 2nd there have been two murders in Gainesville, at least two other shootings, and numerous other violent crimes, including sexual assaults, robberies, and other dangerous events.  It is there that our attention and efforts belong and where they will be.


Bill Cervone
State Attorney
Gainesville
 

[Last modified: Thursday, November 3, 2011 4:10pm]

    

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