Hillary requests jury trial following arrest

Backup QB remains suspended after being charged with underage drinking

jperson@thestate.comMarch 15, 2010 

South Carolina backup quarterback Aramis Hillary has requested a jury trial on the alcohol-related charges stemming from a traffic stop in Lexington County last week during USC's spring break.

Hillary and his brother CoCo Hillary, an Appalachian State receiver, were arrested early Thursday morning after West Columbia police stopped them for speeding. CoCo, 22, was charged with DUI and violation the ABC Act, while 19-year-old Aramis faces charges of underage drinking and drunkenness.

Aramis Hillary, one of three players vying for the Gamecocks' backup quarterback job this spring, remained suspended from the team Monday, according to USC media relations director Steve Fink.

Lexington attorney Michael Jeffcoat said he planned to request jury trials for both brothers Monday afternoon. Jeffcoat was uncertain when the case would be heard.

"These are two kids who have never been in any trouble whatsoever - nothing," Jeffcoat said. "They're good kids. They're from a great family. I think the justice system needs to take its course, and that will be that."

West Columbia police said they found two cups of orange juice and vodka, a partially filled bottle of vodka and several open bottles of Bacardi malt beverages in the car driven by CoCo Hillary.

CoCo Hillary failed a field sobriety test and later registered a blood-alcohol level of .11 percent during a breath test, according to police. Aramis Hillary was transported to the Lexington County jail, where he and his brother were released Thursday morning on personal recognizance bonds.

"Aramis' charges, he's taking them very seriously and he's defending them, but these are misdemeanors," Jeffcoat said.

Hillary, a member of the SEC's academic honor roll last fall, has not played a snap in two seasons at USC. The redshirt freshman accounted for nearly 3,400 yards of offense his senior year at Strom Thurmond High and was ranked the nation's No. 14 dual-threat quarterback by Rivals.com.

Back to work

USC resumes spring drills today at 7 p.m. following an 11-day break. The Gamecocks are slated to practice Friday before holding their first spring scrimmage Saturday morning. All practice sessions are open to the public.

Reach Person at (803) 771-8496.

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