Indefinitely suspended following an incident last week, the attorney for LSU running back Jeremy Hill has mounted a public defense of his client’s actions.
Lawyer Marci Blaize said Thursday that Hill was heckled about his past legal troubles prior to landing a punch on the alleged victim. In early 2011, Hill was arrested on a felony charge of oral sexual battery involving a 14-year-old girl and later pleaded guilty to carnal knowledge of a juvenile, a misdemeanor.
A videotape of Hill punching the alleged victim in his most recent brush with the law surfaced one day after he was suspended by the Tigers football program. Hill is seen high-fiving a second individual who allegedly threw another punch that knocked the male out.
While Blaze acknowledges the video shows her client throwing a punch outside of a Baton Rouge bar last Friday night, she stated the 15-second clip is skewed by the events that preceded it.
“There’s no denying he’s on the video, but the video is 15 seconds long and certainly doesn’t tell you everything that happened that evening,” Blaize said. “In my experience and the cases I’ve had, there’s usually a reason why a person will strike another individual and I can tell you that’s the case here. …
“Basically, it is the interaction between my client and groups of people that were out, what was said to my client by those individuals and how it led up to the ultimate event, which is what you see on that video.”
Hill, LSU’s leading rusher in 2012, was charged with misdemeanor simple battery following the incident.
As far as the second suspect is concerned, he has still yet to be identified. While rumors have persisted that the unidentified individual is also an LSU football player, a Baton Rouge police official intimated they have all but ruled out that being the case.
“We’re making progress toward identifying a second suspect, and while I cannot rule out some connection to the LSU athletic department, based on what we know now, there does not appear to be one,” Lt. Don Kelly said.