East Baton Rouge District Attorney Hillar Moore suggested Wednesday that the charges against LSU quarterback Anthony Jennings and two other football players could be dropped and that the case would be decided “fairly soon.”
Moore, speaking to reporters at the Baton Rouge Rotary Club meeting, said that if Jennings’ case didn’t involve athletes, it would likely have been dismissed already.
“If this was a regular case, take football out of it, if it just involved a regular LSU student, you wouldn’t have known it happened. It would routinely be dismissed,” he said. “I’m taking my time to get it right.”
The victim in the ordeal has asked that the case be dismissed, Moore said. Moore is waiting on the transcripts of interviews from those involved in the case. He said he was supposed to get the transcripts Tuesday.
“It could be today or tomorrow,” he said from the Rotary Club meeting, held in the club area of the new south end zone addition to Tiger Stadium.
At the same event, coach Les Miles added fuel to the fire during his yearly speech to Rotary Club members and guests.
Miles spoke directly to Moore during his address to the hundreds gathered before him.
“I’m right there with you. You hear me? As we have always operated, I’m on your schedule,” Miles said, pointing to Moore, sitting in a far corner of the room. “You tell me what you need to tell me, and I will operate accordingly. I promise you.”
The room burst into laughter before Miles added, “Please don’t write that in the paper. Please don’t write that.”
Moore spoke to reporters before and after Miles’ speech regarding the incident involving Jennings, defensive back Dwayne Thomas and defensive lineman Maquedius Bain. He hasn’t formally charged the three.
All three were arrested for unauthorized entry into an inhabited dwelling after walking into the apartment of a fellow student to retrieve items allegedly stolen from Jennings a week before.
Jennings filed a police report for the stolen items. Thomas was also booked on simple burglary.
All three have been suspended since their arrest on June 18, throwing a wrench into the heated starting quarterback battle between Jennings and sophomore Brandon Harris. Jennings has not participated in summer activities with the team since his suspension, Miles said.
This is the third straight season in which a key LSU football player’s arrest has his status hanging in the balance ahead of fall camp. After a fight outside of a bar two years ago, running back Jeremy Hill was reinstated to the team hours before fall camp began after a judge did not send Hill to jail for violating his probation.
Last year, defensive back Jalen Mills’ second-degree battery charges were lessened to a misdemeanor, news Moore announced just after midnight on the day camp began. Both players participated in the opening day of camp.
LSU opens drills next Thursday.
“Unfortunately this seems to happen every year,” Moore said. “It’s frustrating for me and for the coaches, I’m sure. These are all young kids who make stupid mistakes.”
Miles over the past several weeks has said that Jennings will return to the team and said he’s “optimistic” about the arrested players and that a resolution is coming soon. He suggested Jennings’ return again Wednesday.
“Brandon Harris is taking much of the summer snaps, and we also think that Anthony Jennings is at a point … both of those two guys will compete, and the best guy’s going to be our quarterback,” Miles said.
Follow Ross Dellenger on Twitter @DellengerAdv.