One of the weirder stories from last offseason has some closure.
In February 2016, Dereck Boles was dismissed from the Boise State football team for violating team rules. Three months later, Boles was arrested in his home state of Florida for an outstanding warrant in Idaho. The charge was for a felony charge of “Mayhem” stemming from an incident with then-Boise teammate Chanceller James. Boles was accused of biting off a portion of James’ left ear.
The case finally made it to trial nearly a year later, and on Thursday, Boles was found not guilty.
“Mayhem” is defined as when an individual “unlawfully and maliciously deprives a human being of a member of his body, or disables, disfigures or renders it useless, or cuts out or disables the tongue, puts out an eye, slits the nose, ear or lip.” Per the Idaho Press Tribune, Boles admitted to biting James’ ear, but claimed he did so in self-defense. The jury, after two hours of deliberations, sided with Boles to end the four-day trial.
The tension between the two, who both admitted to drinking that night, apparently arose during a team workout the morning of Feb. 11.
The altercation began during an early-morning workout on Feb. 11, when Boles was apparently unhappy with a grade he received from a strength coach during a drill. His frustration ultimately prompted coaches to do a series of exercises as punishment.
The next night at a party involving several members of the team, James and Boles had to be separated after a verbal argument about the previous day’s practice. They eventually came face to face again in the kitchen, where James testified that Boles placed his thumbs into his eyes to “gouge my eyes out.”
During the trial, Miller told the jury Boles acted in self defense when he bit James’ ear as the two were being separated by teammates.
Following his dismissal from the team, Boles, who played in every game for the Broncos in 2015, played the 2016 season at Coffeyville Community College in Kansas. He reportedly made a verbal commitment to play for Florida International but did not sign a national letter of intent with the school.
After undergoing reconstructive surgery on his ear, James returned to the field for the Broncos in 2016 — his senior season — after serving a suspension for the first game of the year. He started 12 games, made 80 tackles and led the team with three interceptions. He was a second team All-Mountain West selection.
For more Boise State news, visit Blue-Turf.com.
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