Former LSU wide receiver Drake Davis admitted in court Friday that he punched his girlfriend in the stomach during a fight last April at her apartment, and four months later pushed her onto a couch at his apartment during a fight that caused a small cut and bruised her lower leg.
Davis, 22, also admitted violating a court-issued protective order in September.
In all, Davis pleaded guilty to three misdemeanors: two counts of battery on a dating partner and one count of violation of a protective order. He was charged originally with several felonies and misdemeanors.
Under the terms of a plea agreement, state District Judge Richard Anderson sentenced Davis to 18 months in prison with credit for time served, but suspended much of the remaining time, meaning he should be released from East Baton Rouge Parish Prison within days.
Davis will be on probation for two years and must undergo 26 weeks of counseling, including 26 in-person sessions, the judge said. Davis cannot have any contact with the woman he battered. He also was fined $700 and ordered to perform 32 hours of community service.
“You’ve got 18 months hanging over your head,” Anderson told Davis. “It’s up to you to keep you out of trouble.”
When prosecutor Melanie Fields said during Friday’s court proceeding that Davis punched his girlfriend in the left side of her stomach on April 3, the judge asked Davis if those facts were correct.
“Yes, sir, and I apologize,” Davis replied.
Davis has been in jail since late January. He was being held without bail.
“The last 30 days in prison have been very difficult for Drake,” his attorney, Marci Blaize, said after court. “This is a young man that one year ago was in college and playing football for LSU. He’s made some mistakes. We all do. Today marks the end of that chapter and he’s looking forward to the next chapter of his life.”
East Baton Rouge Parish District Attorney Hillar Moore III, who was in the courtroom for Davis’ guilty pleas and sentence, said afterward that what occurred Friday was a just resolution that protects the safety of the victim while balancing the needs of the defendant.
“The defendant’s lawyer had Davis evaluated and provided my office with detailed evaluations of Davis and a plan for him to be successful,” Moore said. “These evaluations considered all of the reports and evidence which was helpful.”
The felonies that Davis had been charged with included second-degree battery and battery involving strangulation of a dating partner.
He was suspended from LSU's football team in August after the first of his three arrests and later resigned from the university.
Blaize said previously that Davis wants to continue his education at another school.
Anderson will review Davis’ case May 10.