David Morgan, father of NFL football player Jadeveon Clowney, faces up to 35 years in prison after pleading guilty Thursday to a 2015 strip club shootout in Rock Hill.
The victim in the case said Morgan deserves prison because Morgan could have killed him and others in the shootout.
Morgan, who spent 12 years in prison while Clowney was growing up, pleaded guilty to two counts of assault and possession of a weapon by a felon. Sentencing was deferred until later this year, and Morgan was allowed to leave the courthouse after pleading guilty under the same bond conditions he has been on since getting out of jail on bond in 2016.
Charges of attempted murder were dropped as part of the plea deal, prosecutor Jenny Desch said in court.
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In court, Morgan admitted to shooting at the manager of the Crazy Horse strip club on Cherry Road and the manager’s girlfriend after Morgan had been kicked out of the club in August 2015. Morgan provided no explanation for what he did or why he had a gun, saying only “I am guilty, your honor,” when admitting guilt to visiting Circuit Court Judge Jocelyn Newman.
Morgan was shot in the shoulder during the shootout but has recovered. Braxton Homesley, the strip club manager, and his girlfriend were not hit in the shootout.
Desch, the prosecutor, said in court that Morgan was asked to leave the club after causing a disturbance. Morgan came back with a gun and shot at club manager Homesley and employee Christina Carter, Desch said. Morgan shot at both victims before Homesley shot back at Morgan and hit Morgan, Desch said.
Homesley did not speak in court but said afterward that Morgan “definitely is guilty,” and that he had tried to defuse the situation. However, Morgan was the aggressor and sought out the confrontation, Homesley said.
“There was no reason for any of this to happen,” Homesley said after court.
Morgan could have killed him, Carter, or others who were outside the club after it closed, as well as people in a nearby home, Homesley said.
Homesley said he did not know who Morgan was or his connection to Clowney, the famous football player.
“Whatever punishment he (Morgan) gets, he deserves it,” Homesley said.
Clowney, who was a football star at South Pointe High School and the University of South Carolina, is now a Pro Bowl player with the Houston Texans of the NFL. Clowney was not in court Thursday.
Morgan was represented by state Rep. Todd Rutherford, minority leader of the S.C. House of Representatives, and Michael Brown.