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Sports

December 8, 2013

Dennard gets one charge dropped, may play

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — New England Patriots cornerback Alfonzo Dennard wrapped up two days of court hearings in Nebraska Friday by getting a drunken-driving charge against him dismissed as part of a plea deal.

In an agreement with the Lincoln city attorney’s office, Dennard pleaded no contest to refusing to submit to a chemical test in exchange for having the DUI case dismissed. He was fined $500 and placed on probation.

His probation runs concurrently with, and until the end of, the three years of probation he’s already serving for hitting a police officer in a separate case.

Assistant prosecutor Christine Loseke, who represented the city attorney’s office during the hearing in Lancaster County Court, said the DUI and refusal to submit charges carry the same penalty. She said it’s common for people charged with one to have the other dismissed. She said the DUI charge can be reinstated if Dennard breaks the law again.

The 24-year-old Dennard played college football at Nebraska and was projected to be a middle-round NFL draft pick in 2012. But a few days before the draft, he was arrested in downtown Lincoln for hitting a police officer outside a bar.

Dennard, who dropped to the seventh round, was sentenced in that case to two years of probation, 30 days in jail and 100 hours of community service.

In July, he was arrested on suspicion of DUI in Lincoln and for failure to cooperate when an officer tried to get him to blow into a device that measures blood-alcohol content. A partial reading of the device showed his blood-alcohol to be over the legal limit.

He admitted in a September hearing in Lancaster County District Court that he had been drinking and driving, and prosecutors moved to have his probation revoked.

On Thursday, a district judge extended Dennard’s probation to three years and his jail sentence to 60 days. She also doubled his community service to 200 hours. Dennard is to begin serving his jail sentence March 1.

Dennard has been banged up in recent weeks but he is eligible to play today against Cleveland.

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