Baylor’s Dunn arrested, suspended

Baylor preseason All-American guard LaceDarius Dunn has been suspended indefinitely following his arrest on felony assault charges Tuesday. Dunn is accused of causing “serious bodily harm” to his longtime girlfriend during an altercation last week.

LaceDarius Dunn surrendered to police Tuesday and was suspended indefinitely by Baylor.
(Mark J. Rebilas / US Presswire)

The victim, however, does not want to pursue legal action and is upset with the severity of the charges.

“She feels re-victimized,” said Jason Darling, the woman’s Waco-based attorney.

Dunn, 23, was notified of the charge Tuesday. He turned himself in during the afternoon and was booked into the McLennan County Jail. Dunn was expected to be released a few hours later after posting a $12,500 bond.

Dunn faces between two and 20 years in prison if convicted of the second-degree felony. His sentence could also be lessened to probation, according to his attorney, Vik Deivanvyagam.

According to Darling, Dunn struck his girlfriend in the face during an argument on Sept. 27. He said the punch fractured the victim’s jaw in two places but didn’t cause any loose teeth or bruising.

Darling said she underwent a “minor surgery, a day surgery” at a local hospital.

“There were two small fractures to her jaw,” Darling said. “Her mouth isn’t wired shut. She’s allowed to eat. She can talk. She’s doing everything normal.”

Darling said the woman, 22, has dated Dunn since junior high school and is the mother of his 3-year-old son. Darling said she refused to give a statement to police when they arrived at the hospital that evening. When authorities contacted his office later that week, Darling informed him the woman didn’t want to pursue any charges.

“We were surprised when we found out today that it was a felony arrest,” Darling said. “We didn’t feel that her injuries rose to that level. If anything we believe it was misdemeanor bodily injury.

“We talked to members of the District Attorney’s office about the nature of the injuries. Their felony prosecutors informed us they didn’t think it was a felony offense but Waco police went ahead with the charge.

“She’s upset today because she didn’t think it would get to this level. She didn’t want any of this spotlight or media attention. They got in an argument that escalated too far and he [hit] her one time. It was one punch. Not three or four. He’s been very remorseful and apologetic to her ever since.”

Darling said the victim has returned to her hometown of Monroe, La.

Baylor coach Scott Drew said it would be inappropriate for him to comment until he gathers more information.

A 6-foot-4 senior guard, Dunn averaged a team-high 19.6 points last season for a Baylor squad that finished 28-8 and lost to Duke in the Elite Eight. Dunn is 451 points shy of becoming Baylor’s all-time leading scorer and is also on pace to set the Big 12 scoring record.

Darling said Dunn’s legal future is unclear.

“Even though he was arrested for a felony, it doesn’t necessarily mean he’s going to be formally charged with a felony in the court system,” Darling said. “[The victim] will probably fill out an affidavit of non-prosecution or write a letter to the D.A.’s office that she doesn’t want to pursue any charges.

“At that point it will be up to them whether to pursue the charges or not, but it’s going to be hard to prove a case without a witness.”

Jason King is a college football and basketball writer for Yahoo! Sports. Follow him on Twitter. Send Jason a question or comment for potential use in a future column or webcast.
Updated Tuesday, Oct 5, 2010