By Christian Caple The News Tribune
SEATTLE – Damore’ea Stringfellow, the Washington Huskies sophomore receiver accused of assaulting Seahawks fans during a post-Super Bowl celebration, was sentenced to five days on a work crew as part of a plea deal he accepted Wednesday in King County District Court.
After pleading guilty to two misdemeanor counts of assault and one misdemeanor count of malicious mischief, Stringfellow was sentenced to five days in custody, all of which King County District Court Judge Anne Harper converted to work crew while suspending the remainder of Stringfellow’s sentence.
He will also be required to either pay $693 in fees, or serve 70 hours of community service, and will be required to complete what Harper termed “Level Two” anger management counseling by July 30. Financial restitution to Stringfellow’s victims will be determined at a later date.
Stringfellow pleaded guilty to charges that he assaulted a man and a woman, in separate incidents, on the night of Feb. 2 in the University District during a celebration of the Seattle Seahawks victory over the Denver Broncos in the Super Bowl.
Harper read aloud a statement from Stringfellow in which he admitted to “intentionally touching” a female victim in a harmful manner before damaging the camera she was carrying, which resulted in the malicious mischief charge.
According to charging documents, Stringfellow attended a celebratory bonfire in the Greek Row neighborhood near the UW campus with UW quarterback Cyler Miles on Feb. 2. Stringfellow had been waving a Broncos hat or beanie in the faces of celebrating Seahawks fans before an unknown man grabbed it and threw it either on the ground or toward the bonfire.
Stringfellow and the man began fighting, and after they were separated, he moved toward the female victim and her camera, struggling with her and damaging the camera lens. The female victim fainted, though charging documents note that she hadn’t been feeling well that night.
Stringfellow also admitted to assaulting a male victim later that night. According to charging documents, Stringfellow and Miles approached a man and his girlfriend in the 2300 block of N.E. 50th Street before Stringfellow punched the man in the face, chased him and punched him again.
That was after Stringfellow asked the man if he was a Seahawks fan. When the victim replied yes, Stringfellow blocked his path before pushing him into a hedge, and then chased him toward an apartment building.
James Burnell, Stringfellow’s attorney, said his client was “backing up his quarterback” who is a “staunch Broncos fan,” and noted that Stringfellow has no prior criminal history, and that neither drugs nor alcohol were involved. Miles, a Centennial, Colo., native, was not charged due to insufficient evidence. Both players remain suspended indefinitely from the football team.
“It was a poor choice, and he understands that,” Burnell said.
Stringfellow, who wore a black dress shirt and jeans, told the court on Wednesday that he has learned from his mistakes, and that he’s channeling his energy toward his counseling.
Greg Alex, the executive director of the Matt Talbot Center, which describes itself as a “ministry of healing, hope and restoration,” spoke on Stringfellow’s behalf. Alex said he’s been mentoring the UW receiver since the incident occurred, and that Stringfellow has “expressed extreme remorse.”
Alex added that Stringfellow’s actions on Feb. 2 are “not in the character of the young man that I’ve gotten to know.”
Harper told Stringfellow that based on his demeanor and competence during his arraignment, she was “surprised by what I see in the police report.”
“The fact is that you have a lot of potential,” Harper told Stringfellow. “You just walked out there, you didn’t think about what you were doing, and you squandered it. You went from being an asset to being a potential liability.
“… You’re the one who has to deal with that.”
Stringfellow and his attorney declined comment as reporters and TV cameramen followed them from the courtroom.
UW coach Chris Petersen said again Tuesday that there has been no change in the status of either Stringfellow or Miles, each of whom have been suspended since early February. The Huskies conclude spring practices on Saturday, and begin the 2014 season on Aug. 30 at Hawaii.