The latest regarding Alabama DB Deionte Thompson’s legal situation
When Sean Villery-Samuel first met with Deionte Thompson and his family in April, he asked Thompson’s parents to leave the room so he could talk to Deionte privately.
He wanted the Alabama safety to speak openly and honestly about the large spring break fight in Crystal Beach, Texas during which Thompson and three others allegedly assaulted 18-year old Noah Frillou.
What Thompson said was the same thing he’s told people inside the Alabama program ever since he was arrested and charged with felony aggravated assault.
“He told me that he wasn’t involved and that it was really a surprise to him when all of this came up,” said Villery-Samuel, Thompson’s Texas-based lawyer. “And I believe him. He’s a good kid from what I’ve been able to gather, and I’d like to believe at this juncture of my life that I’m able to have a certain discernment in reading and getting a feel for people. And from him, I really believe that he wasn’t involved.”
According to court records, a female witness showed police officers a video she received of two individuals kicking Frillou in the head while he was on the ground during the fight.
She said she remembered one of them wearing a white Alabama hat, which officers knew Thompson was wearing based on other videos they’d seen from that day.
However, Villery-Samuel has formal statements from several witnesses who say Thompson wasn’t involved in the fight. In addition, he said he hasn’t seen any video that shows Thompson participating in the fight or attacking Frillou.
“All of the videos that I have seen and that I’ve been able to get access to doesn’t show that,” Villery-Samuel said. “All of the evidence that I’ve read and looked at doesn’t indicate that he was involved. And we have the numerous witnesses that we’ve given to the district attorney’s office that indicate that he wasn’t involved in this incident at all. And the young lady indicating that he was involved, there’s numerous people to contradict that without a doubt.”
The case is still being reviewed by the Galveston County District Attorney’s Office, which hasn’t decided yet whether to indict Thompson or the three others accused of assaulting Frillou.
Alabama coach Nick Saban said in June of the case, “It seemed like a lot of nothing with everything we can find out about.”
“I just think it was a matter of they knew who he was and he was the easiest one to pick out,” Villery-Samuel said. “It’s unfortunate with the way the process works that it’s easy for someone to be implicated for something they didn’t do, but it’s much more difficult — as you can imagine — for them to prove their innocence. But we’ve done everything we can at this point. We have nothing to hide. And we’re just ready for them to make the right decision and not move forward with the case. And if they do decide to move forward, then we look even more forward to going before a jury of his peers to make sure we clear his name.”
Thompson has been back with Alabama in a full capacity since sitting out the team’s spring game in April.
The 6-foot-2, 195-pound redshirt sophomore is in the mix to see playing time at safety after serving as a backup last year while also tying for the team-lead with eight tackles on the kickoff coverage team.
At times during fall camp, Thompson has been the sixth defensive back when the Tide has been in its dime defense.
Thompson had an interception during a practice last week and had a standout moment during the first of Alabama’s two fall scrimmages. After star running back Bo Scarbrough caught a pass in the flat, Thompson flew up from his safety spot and delivered a hard shot to the 6-foot-2, 235-pound Scarbrough’s lower body that knocked him to the ground.
“He’s been doing a really good job,” Alabama star defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick said of Thompson. “He’s been taking some reps with us (with the first-team) and he’s been learning off the field, watching extra film, doing the extra technique stuff on the weekends just trying to improve on himself. And I think he’s been doing a really good job for us.”
Matt Zenitz is an Alabama beat writer for the Alabama Media Group. Follow him on Twitter @mzenitz.
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Published at Tue, 22 Aug 2017 13:58:52 +0000