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Hambrick to avoid jail in plea deal

DADE CITY — Darren Hambrick is on the road again.

The former NFL linebacker runs his own trucking business, according to his attorney, which is why Hambrick on Thursday couldn't resolve criminal charges that he battered his longtime girlfriend.

A deal that will spare Hambrick any jail time has been struck, Assistant Regional Counsel Dustin Anderson told a judge, but his client can't come to court and make it official just yet because he has to travel out of state for business.

"We'd like to postpone for a few months," Anderson told the court.

A change of plea hearing was set for Oct. 22. But Anderson did outline the terms of the plea agreement:

A felony charge of tampering with a witness will be reduced to misdemeanor assault. The misdemeanor battery charge will remain.

Hambrick, 32, has agreed to 18 months of probation. But once he's on probation, he'll likely need permission to leave the state, and maybe even Pasco County.

Will he have to plead guilty or no contest? Will he be adjudicated guilty and have the crimes go on his record?

The attorney did not know the answers to those questions

The former Dallas Cowboy was accused April 12 of assaulting Ilena Quiles and preventing children in the house from calling 911.

She told deputies he pulled her hair, struck her and scratched her with a table lamp. Hambrick denied that, according to a Pasco sheriff's report, and accused her of pointing an unloaded gun at him.

Hambrick was accused of abusing Quiles in February, too, but she later changed her story and the charges were dropped in March.

Brothers Darren and Troy Hambrick won a state championship with the Pasco High School football team in 1992, then went on to play in college and the NFL.

Within a few years, both were out of the league.

Earlier this year, ex-NFL running back Troy Hambrick, 31, was sentenced to five years in federal prison for selling crack cocaine.

He is now in the United States Penitentiary in Atlanta.

Darren Hambrick made an estimated $2-million in five seasons in the NFL, but told a judge in May that he no longer had the money to pay for a private attorney.

Jamal Thalji can be reached at thalji@sptimes.com or (727) 869-6236.

Hambrick to avoid jail in plea deal 08/07/08 [Last modified: Monday, August 11, 2008 3:02pm]
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