OKC Thunder Releases Guard after Felony Domestic Violence Charges13-Sep-2013
At the end of last month, our blog ran a story about violence in the NFL and a possible link to traumatic brain injury. That post mentioned that, despite the news of high-profile NFL arrests, the NBA actually has a considerably higher arrest rate. In that article, I stated that our local team, the Oklahoma City Thunder, managed to keep a reputation for generally staying clear of trouble off the court.
I must have jinxed it.
Only three days after running the story, Oklahoma City Thunder guard Deandre Liggins was arrested on domestic violence complaints. Typically, domestic assault and battery is a misdemeanor case, but Liggins's charges are much more serious.
Liggins was arrested on complaints of domestic assault with a dangerous weapon and domestic violence in the presence of a minor--felony domestic abuse complaints that carry a combined maximum of 15 years in prison. But it was about to get worse for Liggins.
After his arrest, he was released from the team by Thunder general manager Sam Presti, and when the prosecutor formally filed charges, Liggins was charged with seven criminal counts:
- 3 counts of domestic abuse
- 2 counts of domestic assault and battery with a dangerous weapon
- 1 count of kidnapping
- 1 count of violating a protective order
Another man, Marcus A. Rogers, 23, is charged with kidnapping and assault and battery in connection with the case.
In the incident, Liggins is accused of assaulting his girlfriend, Jasmine Horton, in front of the couple's two year old son during an argument. Liggins allegedly pulled Horton by the hair, throwing her to the ground, and punched her repeatedly. When he left the room, Horton locked the door behind him, but he is accused of kicking the door in and assaulting her again. He allegedly threw an X-Box and a box fan at her, striking her in the head.
Liggins and Rogers are accused of blocking the door so she could not leave. When she twice managed to escape the home, Rogers is accused of dragging her back inside. He allegedly recorded the abuse on a cell phone video while taunting Horton.
Horton says she passed out, but awoke to Liggins continuing to scream at her. She escaped the home when Rogers stepped between her and Liggins, and police say he chased her until a neighbor came out to help.
Doctors say Horton suffered multiple injuries in the assault, including a separated shoulder.
It is hard to imagine the argument that could have provoked such a violent attack, or that anyone would not only stand by and watch, but also taunt the victim and record the assault. It is sad to imagine the fear the couple's toddler son must have held in witnessing such violence.
Domestic violence is not okay. It should not be taken lightly. If the allegations are true, perhaps Liggins felt above the law. Perhaps he felt unable to control the rage that escalated inside him. Regardless of the situation that led to the assault, if the allegations are true, he has thrown away his career, his reputation, and his freedom over an argument.
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