Thursday, January 31, 2002

Arson charges against two UK football players dropped

Enquirer staff and news services

        LEXINGTON, Ky. — Arson charges against two University of Kentucky football players were dismissed Wednesday upon the recommendation of prosecutors.

        Three players, all freshman who were redshirted this season, were charged with first-degree arson after a Dec. 11 fire in the Kirwin I dormitory that damaged a bulletin board but did not cause injury.

        Charges against defensive lineman Ben Scott, 19, and offensive lineman Jeremy Darveau, 20, were dropped Wednesday. Scott did, however, plead guilty to possession of alcohol and paid a fine.

        The third player, defensive back Brett Hamblen, 19, waived a preliminary hearing during a court appearance Wednesday, sending the case against him to a Fayette County grand jury. He pleaded innocent to the arson charge on Dec. 13.

        Scott and Hamblen, who both played at Highlands High School in Fort Thomas, Ky., withdrew from school earlier this month.

        Darveau remained enrolled but was suspended by football coach Guy Morriss pending the outcome of the case. He was reinstated on Wednesday.

        The school issued a statement Wednesday night saying Morriss had no comment. Darveau issued a statement through the school saying he was glad to have the matter behind him and thanking Morriss and others for their support.


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