UW's Stringfellow sentenced to work crew

christian.caple@thenewstribune.comApril 17, 2014 

Fight Hunger Bowl Football

Washington's Damore'ea Stringfellow, left, tries to shake off the tackle attempt from BYU defensive back Michael Davis during first half of the Fight Hunger Bowl NCAA college football game Friday, Dec. 27, 2013, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

MARCIO JOSE SANCHEZ — ASSOCIATED PRESS

Damore’ea Stringfellow, a Washington Huskies sophomore wide receiver accused of assaulting Seattle Seahawks fans during a post-Super Bowl celebration, was sentenced to five days on a work crew as part of a plea deal he accepted Wednesday in King County District Court.

After pleading guilty to two misdemeanor counts of assault and one misdemeanor count of malicious mischief, Stringfellow was sentenced to five days in custody, all of which King County District Court Judge Anne Harper converted to work crew while suspending the remainder of his sentence.

Stringfellow also will be required to either pay $693 in fees or serve 70 hours of community service, and must complete what Harper termed “Level Two” anger management counseling by July 30.

Financial restitution to Stringfellow’s victims will be determined at a later date.

Stringfellow pleaded guilty to charges that he assaulted a man and a woman in separate incidents on the night of Feb. 2 in the University District during a celebration of the Seahawks’ Super Bowl victory over the Denver Broncos.

Harper read aloud a statement from Stringfellow in which he admitted to “intentionally touching” a female victim in a harmful manner before damaging the camera she was carrying, which resulted in the malicious mischief charge.

According to charging documents, Stringfellow attended a celebratory bonfire in the Greek Row neighborhood near the UW campus with Huskies quarterback Cyler Miles on Feb. 2. Stringfellow had been waving a Broncos hat or beanie in the faces of celebrating Seahawks fans before an unknown man grabbed it and threw it either on the ground or toward the bonfire.

Stringfellow and the man began fighting, and after they were separated, Stringfellow moved toward the female victim and her camera, struggled with her and damaged the camera lens. The female victim fainted, though charging documents note that she hadn’t been feeling well that night.

Stringfellow also admitted to assaulting a male victim later that night. According to charging documents, Stringfellow and Miles approached a man and his girlfriend in the 2300 block of Northeast 50th Street before Stringfellow punched the man in the face, chased him and punched him again.

That was after Stringfellow asked the man if he was a Seahawks fan. When the man said yes, Stringfellow blocked his path before pushing him into a hedge, and then chased him toward an apartment building.

James Burnell, Stringfellow’s attorney, said his client was “backing up his quarterback” who is a “staunch Broncos fan,” and noted that Stringfellow has no prior criminal history and that neither drugs nor alcohol were involved. Miles, a Centennial, Colo., native, was not charged because of insufficient evidence.

Both players remain suspended indefinitely from the football team.

“It was a poor choice, and he understands that,” Burnell said of his client.

Stringfellow, who wore a black dress shirt and jeans, told the court Wednesday that he has learned from his mistakes and that he’s channeling his energy toward his counseling.

Gregory Alex, the executive director of the Matt Talbot Center, which describes itself as a “ministry of healing, hope and restoration,” spoke on Stringfellow’s behalf. Alex said he has been mentoring the UW receiver since the incident and that Stringfellow has “expressed extreme remorse.”

Alex added that Stringfellow’s actions Feb. 2 are “not in the character of the young man that I’ve gotten to know.”

Harper told Stringfellow that based on his demeanor and competence during his arraignment, she was “surprised by what I see in the police report.”

“The fact is that you have a lot of potential,” Harper told Stringfellow. “You just walked out there, you didn’t think about what you were doing, and you squandered it. You went from being an asset to being a potential liability.

“ ... You’re the one who has to deal with that.”

Stringfellow and his attorney declined comment as reporters and TV cameramen followed them from the courtroom.

UW coach Chris Petersen said Tuesday that there was no change in the status of either Stringfellow or Miles. They have been suspended since early February.

The Huskies conclude spring practices Saturday and begin the 2014 season Aug. 30 at Hawaii.

christian.caple@thenewstribune.com blog.thenewstribune.com/uwsports @ChristianCaple

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