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Davis legal case closed after no contest plea

Pasco tailback Breon "B.J." Davis' yearlong journey through the juvenile justice system is finally over.

Davis, arrested last summer on felony charges of armed robbery and grand theft, pleaded no contest to reduced charges of petty theft and battery in June, said Pirates assistant coach Johnnie Clower, his godfather.

It was his first offense, Clower said, so adjudication was withheld, saving Davis from being found guilty of the two misdemeanor charges. The 16-year-old was sentenced to three months probation and ordered to perform 10 hours of community service.

Davis' mother, Oretha, declined to comment but confirmed that her son's case was resolved.

To Clower, this signals a new start for his godson.

"I've seen him grow up a lot," he said. "I think he's matured. I hope he's matured. I hope he finds out just how good of an athlete he can be."

Davis was 15 when he was arrested June 17, 1998. Authorities said he and an accomplice robbed two men at gunpoint of a bicycle, a gold chain, $20 and a pair of sneakers.

Davis always has disputed that account, describing the incident as a fight.

While Davis' legal case wound its way through the legal system, Pasco football coach Ricky Thomas allowed him to practice and play with his teammates.

That became a moot point midway through last season, when Thomas booted Davis off the team for violating unspecified rules.

Now Davis is a year older, out of trouble and back on the team after a successful track season, which led to an impressive showing during spring football.

As of now, he is one of the Pirates' starting running backs and cornerbacks when fall camp opens Monday.

"I'm hoping he can put it behind him and move on," Thomas said. "It's been laying around for a long time now. I hope he's ready to take the next step and move forward. I know I am.

"I saw him a few times over the summer. We talked. Sometimes, a year can make a difference in a kid as far as maturity is concerned. I like to give anybody the benefit of the doubt. I hope he's matured and ready to fulfill all the potential that he has.

"If not, it'd be almost a shame."

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