Reinstatement pitch planned for Jefferson

LSU mass communications student Taylor Martina, right, cheers with a crowd of supporters as LSU football players leave the Football Operations Center on Monday. Martina said he came out to support ‘all of them who wear purple and gold.’ Show caption
LSU mass communications student Taylor Martina, right, cheers with a crowd of supporters as LSU football players leave the Football Operations Center on Monday. Martina said he came out to support ‘all of them who wear purple and gold.’

Attorney to make presentation on Jefferson’s behalf

The attorney of LSU senior quarterback Jordan Jefferson said Monday he is putting together a presentation to LSU Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics Joe Alleva and head football coach Les Miles to have Jefferson reinstated to the team.

“I just don’t want Jordan being disciplined for the wrong reason,” Lewis Unglesby said.

Jefferson and sophomore linebacker Josh Johns, both 21, were suspended from the team indefinitely after being arrested Friday. Both men bonded out of East Baton Rouge Parish Prison on second-degree battery counts for their alleged involvement in a bar fight Aug. 19.

The attorneys of Jefferson and Johns both said Monday that they believe their clients are innocent and should not have been arrested.

Unglesby said Jefferson “was not fighting with anyone” outside Shady’s bar on 623 E. Boyd Drive. The players went to the bar the night of Aug. 18 after being in their apartments for a 10:30 p.m. curfew.

“I think there was a huge mistake made to arrest him,” Unglesby said.

Johns’ attorney, Tommy Damico, said Monday he is more worried about the case itself than getting Johns reinstated to the team.

LSU spokesman Herb Vincent declined to comment Monday about Unglesby’s plan.

Both Damico and Unglesby said Monday they have spoken to witnesses who have given accounts about the incident that differ from what is detailed in a Baton Rouge police incident report released Thursday.

In that report, Andrew Lowery, 21, tells police that Jefferson and Johns were among a group of people who attacked him.

However, Damico said he has spoken with employees at Shady’s bar who have told him otherwise.

“I’m still at a loss to know why (police) believe they had enough probable cause to arrest Josh,” Damico said.

Police have declined to comment on this case after Jefferson and Johns were arrested Friday.

Michael P. Bienvenu, the attorney representing Lowery and three other men sent to a hospital because of the fight, said Monday he has interviewed witnesses that “all say the same thing.”

Bienvenu would not elaborate on what those witnesses told him.

“I think the witness statements are very strong in this case,” Bienvenu said. “They’ve all described the incident in the same way.”

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

Lowery is the only one of those four men who have been identified. He said in the police report that he was attacked while trying to help a man in the truck.

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

Bienvenu said Monday that his clients are out of the hospital. He said the man with three cracked vertebrae is “progressively getting better.”

“He’s up and walking around and just doing things on a limited basis,” Bienvenu said.

Bienvenu said at this point, “it’s in the hands of the Police Department and the District Attorney’s Office.”

“The investigation is still ongoing,” Bienvenu said.

Four LSU players — Jefferson, Johns, freshman wide receiver Jarvis Landry and sophomore offensive lineman Chris Davenport — went to State Police headquarters for questioning Aug. 23. They initially hired attorney Nathan Fisher to represent them.

Fisher said Monday he does not know if Davenport or Landry will be questioned again or if police will issue warrants for their arrests.

Fisher said he spoke to police as recently as Monday about the case.

“I have gotten no indication one way or the other,” Fisher said. “I have asked for that, but I have not gotten any indication.”

Police have said it is still possible that the four men injured in the fight could have criminal charges filed against them.

Also Monday, a small group of LSU football fans — mostly students — gathered outside LSU’s Football Operations Center to show their support for the team.

The event was organized via Facebook, and more than 100 people said they would attend but about 30 people showed up for the rally.

The group stood next to the driveway of the football complex, cheering for players as they drove away.

A few players recognized the fans for their support.

Senior offensive lineman T-Bob Hebert gave a thumbs up as he drove away on his scooter.

Several LSU students claimed on Facebook that they organized the event. However, of the fans who showed up, none of them said they were an official organizer.

LSU’s Student Government Association helped publicize the event on its official Facebook and Twitter pages, said SGA President Cody Wells, who attended the rally.

“We’re out here just to show support for the team,” Wells said.

The No. 4-ranked Tigers are set to play No. 3 Oregon on Saturday at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas.