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Facing felony charges, LSU’s Jordan Jefferson and Joshua Johns turn themselves in

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For Louisiana State University football players Jordan Jefferson and Joshua Johns, the future isn’t looking too bright down in the bayou.

The players turned themselves in Friday afternoon and were released on $5,000 bond each after police obtained arrest warrants for the two earlier this morning on charges of second-degree battery.

Jefferson and Johns have also been suspended indefinitely by the school.

The felony charges facing the two players stem from their alleged role in a fight at Shady’s bar in Baton Rouge last Friday.  Four people were injured during the brawl, including one who suffered three fractured vertebrae.  All four were treated and released from the hospital a few hours later.

According to the Associated Press, two witnesses who work at the bar said that the players did not throw the first punch, but added that once the fight began, it was difficult to see who hit whom, and could not verify the extent to which Jefferson and Johns were involved.

According to an ESPN.com report, the door manager at the bar that night, who said he witnessed the fight, said that he noticed Jefferson remove himself from the brawl before it was over and saw him standing alone near the entrance of the bar.

However, according to a police report, a 19-year-old woman came forward to say she witnessed several LSU players beating one of the alleged victims and saw Jefferson kick that man in the face.

Police originally identified Jefferson, Johns, offensive lineman Chris Davenport and receiver Jarvis Landry as suspects in the fight.

On Wednesday, police searched Jefferson’s apartment and confiscated 49 pairs of shoes, along with a DNA swap, the Associated Press reported.

According to a statement released by the Baton Rouge police sergeant today, investigators contacted LSU head football coach Les Miles and the players’ attorney asking for Jefferson and Johns to turn themselves in.

LSU enters the upcoming season as the fourth-ranked team in the nation and was expected to compete for a national championship.  Although Johns was only a backup, Jefferson had been named the starting quarterback.

The players will at the very least miss next Saturday’s season-opener, one of the most highly anticipated games of the college football season, a match-up against No. 3 Oregon.  LSU will also play without starting receiver Russell Shepard, who was suspended from the game for a non-related incident.

Whether those players will be able rejoin the team at any point this season is yet to be seen.  But for Miles and company it’s undoubtedly not the start they hoped to get off to.

“We will continue to cooperate with the authorities in an effort to find out exactly what took place during the incident,” Miles said in a statement.  “As sad as this incident is, it’s important that we learn from this and that we take away a valuable lesson.”

Unfortunately that lesson may come the hard way as, at least for now, it appears that two young men’s futures, as well as LSU’s hopes of returning to a national championship game, might well be stuck in the mire.

photo courtesy of JustDog via wikimedia commons

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