Police: Jefferson swabbed for DNA during search

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ARTHUR D. LAUCK /
LSU football players Jordan Jefferson, right, and Jarvis Landry leave the Baton Rouge Police Department's Violent Crime Unit at Louisiana State Police Headquarters Tuesday after being interviewed by police investigators most of the morning. The players were interviewed about a Tigerland bar fight they are implicated in from last week, police have said.

Investigators obtained DNA from LSU senior quarterback Jordan Jefferson and searched his home Wednesday for evidence into his alleged involvement in a bar fight last week, Baton Rouge police spokesman Sgt. Donald Stone said.

Police also are looking into a possible video of the fight posted on the website of local radio station 1210 AM The Score, Stone said.

Detectives searched Jefferson’s off-campus apartment — leaving with several brown paper bags — because they believed evidence was there that would “prove or disprove” his involvement in the Aug. 19 fight outside Shady’s bar, 623 E. Boyd Drive, Stone said.

Stone would not get into specifics about the possible evidence at Jefferson’s Oakbrook apartment on Nicholson Drive nor clarify the exact purpose of the DNA swab.

“We searched his home because we had enough probable cause to,” Stone said.

Jefferson, 20, is one of four LSU football players implicated in the fight with four other men who are not football players.

The other football players are freshman wide receiver Jarvis Landry, 18; sophomore offensive tackle Chris Davenport, 21; and sophomore linebacker Josh Johns, 21.

Jefferson was at his apartment during the search but was not interviewed by investigators, Stone said.

Jefferson has a roommate, Stone said, but police only searched the areas “that (Jefferson) has access to.”

Investigators searched Jefferson’s apartment for about one to two hours, Stone said.

There are no plans at this time to search any homes of additional football players implicated in the fight, Stone said.

Police asked the four players to come in for interviews after witnesses reported the men were involved in a fight outside of Shady’s at 1:30 a.m. Friday, Stone has said.

Stone has emphasized that the players who came in for interviews have only been implicated in the fight but have not charged with a criminal offense.

The players met with police Tuesday morning at Louisiana State Police headquarters for about two hours after police initially said the meeting would happen Monday morning.

Nathan Fisher, the players’ attorney, requested an extra day to review the case.

Fisher attended the player’s Tuesday meeting with police. He said afterward it went “about as we expected.”

Fisher said he thinks his clients should not be charged because of evidence he said is pertinent.

Stone would not comment Wednesday on what the players said at Tuesday’s meeting. He said police have not spoken to any other LSU football players about the incident.

No one has been arrested in the case.

The fight started when a man in a truck blew the horn to try to clear a crowd in the bar’s parking lot, Stone has said.

The situation escalated to a fight and four men, none of whom are members of the LSU football team, were treated at a hospital for minor injuries, police have said.

Those four men’s names have not been released.

Of those injured, one man had three fractured vertebrae and another man was knocked unconscious, police have said.

Police Chief Dewayne White said Tuesday at police headquarters that the man who was knocked unconscious and suffered contusions to his head, nose and hands is a Marine.

White said the four LSU football players also gave investigators the names of at least a dozen witnesses.

White said investigators have conflicting statements from people they have interviewed about the fight and that they have not yet talked to anyone from a third party.

When warrants are issued, those arrested will likely be booked on second-degree battery and simple battery counts, Stone has said.

Stone said it is still possible for the four men involved with the fight with the players to have criminal charges filed against them.

Second-degree battery is a felony offense that carries a maximum five-year prison sentence upon conviction. Simple battery is a misdemeanor.

Michael P. Bienvenu, an attorney for some of the people reportedly involved in the fight, has repeatedly declined to comment about the case.

He released a statement to the media Sunday saying his clients have “cooperated fully with the ongoing investigation into this matter.”

The football players went to the bar Thursday night after being in their apartments for a 10:30 p.m. curfew, LSU head football coach Les Miles has said.

Miles after his radio show Wednesday night at TJ Ribs restaurant that he was surprised by the search of Jefferson’s apartment but did not offer any further comment.

“Obviously there is an investigation going on concerning one of our teammates,” Miles said in reference to the search.

“It’s a side distraction to a great season that we do not want,” Miles continued. “But I told our (players), we made our bed and now it’s time to get it right.”

Scott Rabalais, Robert Stewart and Katie Kennedy contributed to this report.