Georgia DL has charges dropped, but remains suspended
The state of Georgia has dropped charges against UGA DL Jonathan Ledbetter stemming from a March arrest for underage drinking and possessing a fake ID.
Marc Weiszer of the Athens Banner-Herald reports that Athens-Clarke Solicitor General C.R. Chisholm filed to dismiss the charges due to problems with collection of evidence:
Chisholm watched video of the incident from the body camera of the Athens-Clarke County police officer and determined that the prosecution would have lost the case, based on two Georgia Supreme Court Cases, because of how the information determining Ledbetter’s age was obtained.
Chisholm told Weiszer that the officer’s body cam footage showed that Ledbetter’s license was obtained before he was under arrest, which would have been a problem for the state in court:
“It would have been a waste of court time to put that up,” Chisholm said. “I know how these cases look. Sometimes folks will think, ‘Oh, well, he’s a football player, he’s getting a break.’ The fact is this is one where it was a set of facts and we were not going to be able to survive a motion to suppress.”
Bulldogs coach Kirby Smart suspended Ledbetter for the season opener against North Carolina following the arrest.
“Jonathan made a huge mistake,” Smart said at the time. “He embarrassed himself, he embarrassed our team, his family and our family. I’m really disappointed in Jonathan. He knows that we can’t have that behavior. You’re held to a higher standard when you come to the University of Georgia and he should know that.”
Chip Towers of DawgNation.com reports that the suspension, which is due to a violation of UGA student-athlete alcohol policy, will not be affected.