Grand jury testimony begins in LSU players case

LSU football players Jordan Jefferson, right, and Joshua Johns leave East Baton Rouge Parish Prison, Friday Aug. 26, 2011, in Baton Rouge. Show caption
LSU football players Jordan Jefferson, right, and Joshua Johns leave East Baton Rouge Parish Prison, Friday Aug. 26, 2011, in Baton Rouge.

A Baton Rouge police detective testified Wednesday before an East Baton Rouge Parish grand jury that began considering the second-degree battery case against suspended LSU football players Jordan Jefferson and Joshua Johns.

Detective John Dauthier declined comment as he left the City Hall building, where the grand jury meets on the 10th floor, but confirmed that he appeared before the panel.

First Assistant District Attorney Prem Burns and fellow prosecutors Steve Danielson and Barry Fontenot each were seen heading into the grand jury room Wednesday morning.

Johns’ attorney, Tommy Damico, also appeared at City Hall – without the sophomore linebacker – and said his client has been invited to testify before the grand jury but that a decision has not yet been made on whether to accept the invitation.

“We’re going to wait and see what happens today,’’ Damico said. “Quite frankly he has nothing to hide. With regard to my client, I believe there’s no case at all.’’

Lewis Unglesby, Jefferson’s attorney, said his client has not yet been invited to testify, but if he is, he will gladly do so.

“Jordan Jefferson has talked to police and LSU coaches,” Unglesby said. “He will talk to anybody who will talk to him.”

Jefferson, a senior quarterback, and Johns were booked into Parish Prison on Aug. 26 on one count each of second-degree battery for their alleged involvement in an Aug. 19 fight outside Shady’s bar on East Boyd Drive.

Four people were injured in the brawl.

Jefferson and Johns, both 21, told police they were at the bar that night but denied involvement in the fight, according to affidavits of probable cause for the search warrants of the players’ homes.

Andrew Lowery, one of the people injured in the fight, has told police that Jefferson and Johns were among a group of people who attacked him.

The grand jury is not expected to wrap up its work Wednesday. It is scheduled to hear more testimony next Wednesday.