Clemson's McDaniel seeks PTI program

Attorneys expect decision on his request this week

pstrelow@thestate.com August 12, 2008 

DeAndre McDaniel Clemson Tigers

DeAndre McDaniel

CLEMSON — Clemson football player DeAndre McDaniel is in the process of applying for a pretrial intervention program that would resolve his pending criminal charge.

Robert Ariail, the 13th Circuit Solicitor, is expected to make a decision this week regarding McDaniel’s acceptance into PTI, a program that allows first-time offenders to have charges dropped and expunged from their record if certain stipulations are met.

McDaniel, a sophomore safety/linebacker, was arrested June 21 after an altercation with his girlfriend at his off-campus apartment. According to the incident report, Abra Weeks, 19, alleged McDaniel choked her, punched her and shoved her down a flight of stairs.

Alleged victims must sign off on PTI before it can be approved. Kenneth Young, a Sumter attorney representing Weeks, said he was to mail a letter Monday stating she did not object to McDaniel entering the program.

“She wants to put it behind her and move on,” Young said. “I told her I thought this was the appropriate way to handle this since this was his first time, and if she had no objections to it, this is how it would be handled.”

“She feels prosecution may have severe and lasting effects on his career. She wants him to just leave her alone; he’ll go his way, she’ll go hers.”

Young said Weeks has requested McDaniel receive anger-management counseling as part of the program’s stipulations.

McDaniel confirmed he is applying for PTI but declined to provide a reason.

“I’m just listening to my lawyer right now, that’s it,” McDaniel said. “I’m just doing everything I was told.”

Clemson coach Tommy Bowden released a statement Monday afternoon but had no additional comment.

“I am aware of the media reports that DeAndre McDaniel will be accepted into the pre-trial intervention program,” Bowden’s statement read. “I won’t have a public comment, because the solicitor has not announced any decision in this matter. After the solicitor announces a decision, I plan to request a meeting with him and our administration, to better understand the facts of the case.”

Asked about the emotional toll of the pending case, McDaniel said, “It’s a lot of weight on my shoulders, but I’m just staying positive.”

McDaniel is vying with sophomore Scotty Cooper for the starting strong-side linebacker job.

Clemson coach Tommy Bowden has said McDaniel’s playing status for the Aug. 30 opener against Alabama remains uncertain. On Sunday, he suggested the situation is close to a stage where “a rational decision can be made.”

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