Affidavits show claims of innocence
Two LSU football players arrested in their alleged role in a bar fight Aug. 19 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 senior quarterback Jordan Jefferson and sophomore linebacker Joshua Johns, both 21, told police on Aug. 23 they were at the bar that night but denied involvement in the fight.
The attorneys for Johns and Jefferson — who bonded out of East Baton Rouge Parish Prison on Aug. 26 on second-degree battery counts — said Baton Rouge Police sent them the affidavits Friday after they filed court motions to request them.
Tommy Damico, Johns’ lawyer, said he received the affidavit at 8:30 a.m. Friday after filing for it Thursday.
Lewis Unglesby, who represents Jefferson, said he received Jefferson’s affidavit Friday morning. Unglesby filed his motion Wednesday.
Police said they took 49 pairs of shoes, as well as a DNA swab, from Jefferson’s off-campus apartment Aug. 24.
Unglesby also requested in his motion that police return to Jefferson any shoes they have not or will not examine.
Police took five pairs of shoes and a DNA swab from Johns when his home was searched Aug. 30, Damico has said.
Damico said Friday he no longer plans to attend a Monday hearing about police returning the warrants. He did not file a motion to have Johns’ shoes returned. Unglesby, however, said he will still attend the hearing in an attempt to have police return the shoes to Jefferson.
“The difference is, Johns only has (five) pairs of shoes (missing),” Unglesby said Friday. “They took 50 of ours, and they’re only testing a few.”
Unglesby and Damico faxed copies of the affidavits to The Advocate on Friday.
The affidavits of probable cause say investigators were looking for any shoes belonging to Jefferson and Johns, as well as “any clothing that may contain DNA or other biological evidence” related to the incident.
Witnesses told police that both Jefferson and Johns kicked a man lying on the ground during the fight, the affidavits say, which explains why investigators were searching for shoes from both men.
Based on witness statements, investigators also believe the men injured in the fight were not aggressors, the affidavits say.
Police declined comment Friday and have kept silent about the case since Jefferson and Johns both posted a $5,000 bond.
Four men were injured and several LSU football players were present at the fight outside Shady’s bar, 623 E. Boyd Drive, police have said.
Four LSU players — Jefferson, Johns, sophomore offensive lineman Chris Davenport and freshman wide receiver Jarvis Landry — went to Louisiana State Police headquarters on Aug. 23 to be questioned by Baton Rouge Police.
Only Jefferson and Johns have been arrested in the case. LSU coach Les Miles suspended them indefinitely from the team after their arrests.
Attorney Nathan Fisher, who represents Davenport and Landry, had no new updates about his clients Friday.
Fisher said he had received a letter from police asking for any remaining information they had about the case before they send it to the District Attorney’s Office.
Fisher said he wrote a response to police. He did not disclose what he said in that letter.
Baton Rouge Police Chief Dewayne White said Aug. 26 that the District Attorney’s Office would receive his department’s findings “in several days.”
East Baton Rouge Parish District Attorney Hillar Moore III said Friday he still has not received any documents from police regarding Jefferson’s and Johns’ cases.
Witnesses have given conflicting accounts about the incident, police said.
In a police incident report about the fight, Andrew Lowery, 21, told officers that Jefferson and Johns were among a group of people who attacked him.
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 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 told officers he got involved in the brawl after seeing several football players pull a man out of a black Chevrolet Silverado pickup, the report says.
That’s when Lowery said he intervened and managed to pull the man from the crowd and back into the truck, the report says.
The players — including Jefferson and Johns — then turned on Lowery, kicking and punching him several times before getting into a silver vehicle and leaving the scene, the report says.
Lowery, the only one of the injured four who has been identified, suffered a fractured maxilla — a bone in the upper jaw — and was kicked unconscious, his attorney Michael P. Bienvenu has said.
Bienvenu declined comment Friday about Unglesby and Damico receiving the affidavits for the search warrants from police.
Lowery’s injuries also include broken teeth and “bumps and bruises all over his body,” Bienvenu has said.
The injuries of the other two men sent to the hospital after the fight were minor, Bienvenu has said.
Both Unglesby and Damico have said their clients are innocent. Unglesby also has written statements from five witnesses of the fight that have spoken to his office. Two of those witnesses’ names are redacted because they wanted to remain anonymous.
Two of the statements come from Shady’s employees at the bar the night of the fight — Jordan Neldare and Sean Berrigan. Both of their statements say Lowery threw the first punch in the fight.
Four of the statements say Jefferson did not hit anyone the night of the fight.