Charges dropped against ex-LSU sprinter


Published: Friday, January 25, 2008 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, January 25, 2008 at 12:09 a.m.

The State Attorney's Office dropped a charge against Olympic hopeful sprinter Xavier Carter this week after he was arrested last month following an early morning incident at a Gainesville restaurant.

Carter, 22, former University of Florida linebacker Jonathan Demps, 20, and Florida starting defensive end Jermaine Cunningham, 19, were arrested after police reported an employee at Jimmy John's, 1724 W. University Ave., said Cunningham and Demps caused a disturbance Dec. 5 when he told them they needed to pay for a bag of potato chips.

Police said after the incident was reported Carter was walking with Cunningham and Demps and ran when he saw the patrol car's lights flashing.

Demps and Cunningham were both charged with misdemeanor battery while Carter was accused of resisting an officer without violence.

“The testimony from the victim is inherently conflicting with some of the information in the police reports as to who did what,” State Attorney Bill Cervone explained why prosecutors decided to drop the case against Carter.

A former star of the Louisiana State University track and field team and football team, Carter agreed to make a $100 contribution to the non-profit children's dance workshop the alleged victim is involved with.

Prosecutors dropped the misdemeanor battery charge against Cunningham in late December. State Attorney Bill Cervone said the police report was inconsistent with the testimony of the employee and Cunningham, and the victim backed up Cunningham's testimony that he was not involved in the incident.

The case against Demps still is pending.

Cervone said that, given the nature of the incident, he wants to resolve the matter with Demps outside of the court system.

The area's chief prosecutor said he believed the case involving Carter did not warrant court time. At the request of the alleged victim, Carter made the voluntary, monetary contribution. The cash donation, which Carter has already paid, was equivalent to a fine that Cervone said would have been a likely outcome in the case if attorneys had pursued prosecution.

Carter has been in Gainesville training with a UF track coach.

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