Ex-quarterback Ryan Leaf accepts plea deal in Montana | Washington State football
Ryan Leaf, former NFL quarterback and Washington State standout, pleaded guilty to charges he broke into a Montana home and illegally possessed painkillers, part of a deal with prosecutors that recommends he spend nine months in a secure drug-treatment facility.
The Associated Press
GREAT FALLS, Mont. — Ryan Leaf, former NFL quarterback and Washington State standout, pleaded guilty Tuesday to charges he broke into a Montana home and illegally possessed painkillers, part of a deal with prosecutors that recommends he spend nine months in a secure drug-treatment facility.
Leaf, 35, was shackled hand and foot and wore black-and-white prison stripes as he told Cascade County District Judge Kenneth Neill he needed treatment.
"I'm very much looking forward to the opportunity presented," Leaf said. "An intensive nine-month rehab facility is presently needed."
It was one of the few statements Leaf made in the hearing under questioning by his attorney, Kenneth Olson.
Leaf admitted he broke into a home in Cascade County on April 1. He also admitted that on March 28 he illegally possessed oxycodone not prescribed to him.
Leaf pleaded guilty to one count each of felony burglary and criminal possession of a dangerous drug. Under the agreement, County Attorney John Parker agreed to dismiss one count each of burglary and drug possession.
Neill set sentencing for June 19.
Parker and Olson are recommending a five-year sentence in the custody of the Montana Department of Corrections for the burglary charge.
Olson said the recommendation will include a nine-month program at the Nexus Treatment Center in Lewistown, where Leaf would be locked down and unable to leave. That would be followed by time in a pre-release program in which Leaf's movements would be restricted.
The agreement recommends a separate five-year sentence for the possession charge, but all of it would be suspended, Olson said.
Neill is not bound by the sentencing recommendation, but indicated he might look favorably on it.
"There is no question he needs treatment," Neill said.
Olson said he and Parker also will recommend the sentence run together with whatever sentence Leaf is given for a probation violation in Texas.
A prosecutor there, James Farren, filed to revoke the former quarterback's 10-year probation from a 2010 plea deal.
Leaf was charged with stealing prescription pain medicine from a player's home while he was an assistant coach at West Texas A&M. An investigation also found he obtained nearly 1,000 pain pills from area pharmacies in an eight-month span.