Jalen Mills’ attorney entered a not guilty plea Tuesday on behalf of the LSU junior safety accused of punching a woman outside his Highland Road apartment in May.
Mills did not attend his arraignment at the 19th Judicial District Courthouse on the misdemeanor simple battery charge.
Former prosecutor Brent Stockstill, who represents Mills, repeated his contention outside the courtroom that his client is innocent.
“Jalen hit nobody,” Stockstill said, adding that Mills’ girlfriend has told investigators that she hit the woman.
“The DA’s Office has information about who actually struck the victim, but they choose not to believe it,” he said.
East Baton Rouge Parish District Attorney Hillar Moore III was not in state District Judge Chip Moore’s courtroom for the arraignment but afterward defended his office’s prosecution of Mills.
“We are not ignoring any information. We have statements and evidence that show that Jalen Mills struck the victim as she has reported. We have no information that anyone else other than Jalen Mills struck the victim,” the district attorney said.
“We do have information that a friend of the victim was also struck, but not by Mills but by a female who accompanied Mills.”
Mills was arrested in June on a second-degree battery charge, which is a felony, but charged in August by the District Attorney’s Office with simple battery, a misdemeanor.
Mills was suspended indefinitely after his arrest but rejoined the team on the opening day of fall camp, the same day prosecutors charged him with a misdemeanor.
Mills’ next court date is Jan. 27.
The victim of the alleged battery needed four stitches to close a gash on her lip following the May 4 altercation that began after she claimed to have knocked on Mills’ door at 1 a.m. looking for a friend, an arrest warrant states.
Mills opened the door and then closed it. The woman knocked again, but there was no answer. She was walking away when she thought she heard someone say something, the warrant says. She turned around and the 6-foot, 195-pound Mills punched the 5-foot-3, 113-pound woman once in the face, the warrant says.
A witness corroborated the victim’s account and both picked Mills out of a photo lineup, says the warrant, which does not identify the victim or the witness.
Stockstill said he understands the victim has given “multiple accounts of what happened,” but he has not seen those statements.
Simple battery is punishable by up to six months in prison or a $1,000 fine.