Charges dismissed for Texas Tech running back Da'Leon Ward

Published: Aug. 23, 2018 at 1:38 AM CDT|Updated: Aug. 23, 2018 at 7:49 AM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Texas Tech football player Da'Leon Ward was released from jail overnight. Ward's criminal case was dismissed on Wednesday morning.

Ward was arrested on a felony warrant for theft between $2,500 and $30,000 during a traffic stop on Tuesday, but around 11 a.m. Wednesday, his attorney, Tray Payne, tweeted that Da'Leon Ward will have no pending indictment by the end of the day and that all charges will be dismissed.

"I wanted everybody to know as quickly as possible that this kid wasn't a thug or a thief or all the other things I'd seen him proclaimed as on social media," Payne said. "He's not. He's gonna be a contributor to society, not just the football team, and he's a good kid. He's a good kid."

Payne says this incident happened last November when a former walk-on, no longer with the football team, used Ward's student ID at the Rec Center, allegedly stealing multiple student's cell phones. Ward, Payne says, was the one who returned them. This led to investigations by Texas Tech Police and the Student Conduct Office. Student conduct cleared Ward of any involvement, but Tech PD still passed on the case to a Lubbock County Grand Jury.

"The issue here was: did Texas Tech Police Department know that there was a warrant that was outstanding?" Payne asked. "Sure. Did the police department let the football team or anyone else know? Nope."

After receiving a phone call last night, Lubbock County District Attorney Matt Powell read over the case, deciding to dismiss it this morning.

"Number one: I didn't think it rose up to a felony case," Powell explained. "And then number two: I didn't think it rose up to the fact that we needed to arrest him. There was not enough evidence to proceed on it. I sure don't think a jury would find him guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. We righted a wrong this morning in my opinion."

Texas Tech Athletics Director Kirby Hocutt expressed support for Ward on Wednesday afternoon, saying, "I think Coach Kingsbury has shown that he will not tolerate things around the program. However, when something like this happens and facts aren't as they seem or as they're initially reported, we are going to stand by our young people. We invite them here. just as I would my two children. I would anticipate he's back with the team this afternoon and practicing tomorrow morning."

Copyright 2018 KCBD. All rights reserved.