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Florida Gators pitcher Stephen Locke, lineman Carl Johnson cleared of charges

GAINESVILLE — Former Florida baseball player Stephen Locke Jr. and current offensive lineman Carl Johnson have been cleared of separate legal charges due to lack of evidence.

The Gainesville State Attorney's Office dismissed DUI charges against Locke after videotape and police officers' statements didn't match, State Attorney Bill Cervone said. Locke was arrested Jan. 24 after police said he was seen driving erratically, his speech was slurred and that he had to balance himself against his sport utility vehicle when police questioned him. The police report also alleged he crossed the double yellow line into oncoming traffic, before crossing back into his lane.

"There is no evidence to prove that he was driving under the influence," Cervone said Monday afternoon. "The evidence that does exist is contradictory or uncorroborated. There is video from the police car that does not show a driving pattern or behavior on his part that would be consistent with somebody who's impaired."

Locke, a King High grad, told officers he was the designated driver.

"We're thrilled to death that he's been exonerated and the truth has come out," said his father, Stephen Locke Sr.

Johnson's charges for violating a restraining order were dismissed Monday afternoon, and the woman withdrew a complaint of sexual battery filed against him Feb. 4, according to court documents. The woman filed the restraining order Feb. 9, and Johnson was arrested a week later on charges he violated it by riding on the same bus.

Cervone said there was insufficient evidence to pursue charges against Johnson for violating the injunction. The injunction for the restraining order will remain in effect until an April 7 hearing. Johnson's future with the team remains unclear.

Locke, 22, is recovering from an ACL injury he suffered last fall and has about two weeks of rehab remaining. He was expected to be part of the Gators' pitching rotation this season but was dismissed from the team after his arrest. On Monday, Florida officials said they have not determined Locke's status with the team.

Former gator charged: Safety Jamar Hornsby, a Mississippi football signee who is on probation after a plea deal in a misdemeanor credit card fraud case that led to him getting kicked off the UF team last year, was arrested on charges he assaulted a man at a McDonald's drive-through with brass knuckles.

Starkville police arrested Hornsby, 22, who was expected to start for Mississippi, on March 1 and charged him with felony aggravated assault and misdemeanor petit larceny after he and two other men allegedly assaulted the man, who rear-ended their car as they waited for service.

The victim, whose name is being withheld for his protection, was hospitalized with unspecified injuries.

UF kicked Hornsby off the team in May for using a credit card issued to Ashley Slonina, a student who died in an October 2007 motorcycle accident.

Hornsby's future with the Rebels is uncertain. He faces up to 20 years in prison on the aggravated assault charge. He also likely violated his probation by possessing brass knuckles, which are illegal.

Information from Times wires was used in this report. Antonya English can be reached at english@sptimes.com.

Florida Gators pitcher Stephen Locke, lineman Carl Johnson cleared of charges 03/09/09 [Last modified: Monday, March 9, 2009 9:59pm]
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