(Photo Credit: David Carson/St. Louis Post-Dispatch via AP)
Sheldon Richardson, a current defensive end for the New York Jets, and former Mizzou defensive end, has pleaded guilty to leading police in a high-speed chase back in July. As a result of his guilty plea, he will serve no jail time. In a St. Louis court room, he was sentenced to 100 hours of community service, and was fined a grand total of $1,050.
On July 14th, 2015, Richardson, 24, was driving at speeds upwards to 143 mph with a 12-year old boy in the backseat and two other adults with him. There was also the smell marijuana and a loaded shotgun inside his 2014 Bentley Silver Spur W12 on I-64 just before midnight, and turned off the car light’s $200,000 vehicle. Once police had gotten to the car, the passengers were ordered to exit the vehicle at gunpoint, due to Richardson seemingly reaching down under the seat for an object.
The original five charges were resisting arrest, exceeding the speed limit, following too closely, failing to use lights and failing to obey a traffic signal. Despite the car smelling of burnt marijuana, there was not enough evidence provided to facilitate a legitimate drug charge against Richardson.
At the time of the incident, Richardson, the NFL’s 2013 Defensive Rookie of the Year, was already suspended for four games by the National Football League due to a violation of the league’s substance abuse policy.
Although the ruling from the court has been made, there could still be disciplinary actions taken by the NFL as well in regards to the 2016 season. The league’s personal-conduct policy lists resisting arrest among the many offenses that can be considered a valid reason for a player’s suspension, especially since this isn’t the first offense the young, yet troubled defensive lineman has committed.
According to his attorney, Scott Rosenblum, as part of the plea arrangement with the St. Charles County prosecutor, the misdemeanor will be expunged from Richardson’s record upon completion of the probation.
Prior to last year’s suspension, he expressed regret over his actions, and assured his teammates he’d bring a more positive impact to the team.
“(It’s a) wake-up call,” Richardson said. “What I said yesterday, I still mean today. … I promise you won’t hear my name again.”
That plan went downhill fast.