Suspended MSU running back Glenn Winston must serve 180 days in jail for his role in an off-campus brawl last October, a judge ruled Tuesday in East Lansing’s 54-B District Court.
Winston, a freshman running back from Detroit, originally pleaded not guilty to three counts of aggravated assault stemming from an Oct. 19, 2008 fight that resulted in the hospitalization of MSU hockey player A.J. Sturges. Winston changed his plea on March 10 to guilty, and two of the aggravated assault charges were dropped while one count of assault and battery was added.
After Winston changed his plea to guilty, MSU head football coach Mark Dantonio suspended him from the team indefinitely. John Lewandowski, MSU’s associate athletics director, said Tuesday no immediate changes were made to Winston’s status as a member of the MSU football team following his sentencing.
Ingham County assistant prosecutor Lisa McCormick said Judge David Jordon handed down a “fair” sentence.
“In light of the egregious nature of some of the injuries, I think the judge was being fair,” McCormick said.
In addition to the six-month jail sentence, Winston will serve two years of probation and pay $1,768.43 in fines and court costs. Winston also is required to complete an assaultive behavior and substance abuse counseling program and must submit to random drug and alcohol tests.
After the fight, which took place outside a Center Street home, Sturges was treated for a fractured skull. Winston admitted to hitting Sturges, whose injuries prevented him from returning to the MSU hockey team for the 2008-09 season.
According to an East Lansing police report obtained by The State News through a Freedom of Information Act request, Winston also struck bystanders Ian Montgomery and Nicholas Dixon. Montgomery suffered a fractured jaw that was wired shut for six weeks following the scuffle, according to the report.
Witnesses in the report said the fight involving Winston was preceded by an altercation between freshman walk-on receiver Mitchell White and former MSU hockey player Andrew Conboy.
Witnesses told police that several MSU football players, including Winston, arrived at the house and started the second fight.
Jim Newton, Winston’s attorney, said he does not know why Winston was given a harsher-than-average sentence as a first-time offender, but is glad the case is finished.
“Obviously, we’re disappointed,” Newton said. “But, on the other hand, it’s a good thing to get closure so everyone can start putting this behind them and start moving on.”
White, who is from Livonia, pleaded guilty to assaulting Livonia resident Sean Lerg during the second fight. White was sentenced to 30 days in jail, two years of probation, 80 hours of community service and a $500 fine.
Dantonio has not commented on White’s playing status with the football team, but White did not dress during the second half of MSU’s season and was not listed on the team’s roster for the Capital One Bowl in January.