Jefferson gets 33 pairs of shoes back

Police returned 33 pairs of shoes Monday that they confiscated from suspended LSU quarterback Jordan Jefferson as a part of a bar fight investigation.

Jefferson and one of his attorneys, Robert Marionneaux Jr., picked up the shoes packed in garbage bags before noon from police headquarters on Mayflower Street.

Police released the shoes after Jefferson’s attorneys filed a motion to have the sneakers returned.

A hearing about the motion was held Monday in state District Judge Chip Moore’s courtroom. Moore rescheduled the matter until Sept. 26, saying police needed more time to investigate.

That hearing, Marionneaux said, is now irrelevant.

Jefferson attended the Monday hearing and had no comment afterward.

Marionneaux added he is pleased police returned his client’s shoes but is frustrated his client was “erroneously” arrested in the first place.

“Every day that goes by is a day Jordan Jefferson is not on the football team and is not planning for his future,” Marionneaux said. “He needs to be on that team and he needs to be preparing for his future.”

Jefferson, suspended indefinitely from LSU’s football team, was booked into East Baton Rouge Parish Prison on Aug. 26 on a count of second-degree battery in an Aug. 19 fight outside Shady’s bar on Boyd Avenue.

Suspended LSU linebacker Joshua Johns also is accused of participating in the fight and was also booked into Parish Prison on a count of second-degree battery.

Police searched Jefferson’s and Johns’ homes last month, taking shoes and DNA samples from each.

The football players told police they were not involved in the altercation, according to affidavits of probable cause for the search warrants of the players’ homes.

The affidavits say Jefferson and Johns, both 21, told police Aug. 23 they were at the bar that night but denied involvement in the fight.

Andrew Lowery, one of four people police have said were injured in the fight, told officers Jefferson and Johns were among a group of people who attacked him.

Lowery suffered a fractured maxilla — a bone in the upper jaw — and was kicked unconscious, his attorney Michael P. Bienvenu has said.

Lowery’s injuries also include broken teeth and “bumps and bruises all over his body,” Bienvenu has said.

Lowery suffered another injury around 5 a.m. Sept. 4 when he was hit by a Chevrolet Silverado pickup while hitchhiking on Highland Road near Airline Highway, a State Police crash report says.

Michael Whitman, 47, of Prairieville, told troopers he was traveling east on Highland when he saw Lowery walking east on the shoulder of the road, the report says.

Lowery’s left thumb was sticking up and his left arm extended into Whitman’s lane of travel, Whitman told troopers in the report.

Whitman couldn’t swerve to avoid Lowery because of a vehicle traveling next to him, the report says. Whitman hit Lowery with his passenger side mirror, shattering it and chipping the paint on his passenger side door.

Lowery, who was taken to a local hospital by his family and treated for moderate injuries, initially told troopers he was hit when Whitman changed lanes, the report says.

Lowery, 21, later changed his story and told troopers he was hit after he stuck his arm into Whitman’s lane of travel in an effort to “catch a ride,” the report says.

Lowery said he was hitchhiking because his car had broken down and he couldn’t get hold of anyone to give him a lift.

After troopers questioned him about his sobriety at the time of the crash, Lowery admitted to having three to four drinks and taking at least one Lortab prior to the crash.

Blood samples were taken from Lowery and submitted to the State Police Crime Lab for analysis.

A trooper issued Lowery a misdemeanor summons for pedestrian soliciting rides. Whitman, who initially fled the scene, was issued a summons for failure to report an accident.

Tommy Damico, Johns’ attorney, said the Sept. 4 incident calls Lowery’s credibility into question and thus the arrest of his client.

“The only evidence the police have are Lowery and the girl he was with that night,” Damico said. “They’ve based their case on those two people.”

Damico said Lowery was drinking the night of the fight and did not give an accurate statement to police about Johns’ involvement in the incident.

Lewis Unglesby, one of Jefferson’s attorneys, agreed and said it’s unfortunate that, “We are talking Monday night before the Mississippi State game about an accusation that’s unproven in a country where you are presumed innocent until proven guilty.

“There is a fundamental problem at LSU,” Unglesby said. “It’s wrong for LSU to treat Jordan differently than other players.”

He said Jefferson should not be suspended from the team because he has only been arrested and has not been charged by the District Attorney’s Office.

Bienvenu, Lowery’s attorney, said his client’s arm was shattered in the Sept. 4 incident, which “has no bearing” on the bar fight investigation.

Lowery was unavailable for comment.

East Baton Rouge Parish District Attorney Hillar Moore III had no comment about the Sept. 4 incident involving Lowery. However, he said he has no objection to the return of Jefferson’s shoes based on police telling him they had no evidentiary value.

Moore added that he has not yet received the Police Department’s investigation into last month’s fight because the investigation is still ongoing.

Police spokesman Sgt. Don Stone declined comment.