Duck football star James to report to jail by 4 p.m. Friday

Duck football star James to report to jail by 4 p.m. Friday
LaMichael James in court Friday morning.

EUGENE, Ore. -- LaMichael James pleaded guilty to one of the five misdemeanor counts against him and was sentenced to 10 days jail and 24 months probation in Lane County Circuit Court Friday morning.

"This resolution preserves his ability to pursue an education," defense attorney Michael Buseman said.

James has to report to the Lane County Jail to start serving his sentence by 4 p.m. Friday. He will get credit for time served in jail after his arrest.

However, Lane County District Attorney Alex Gardner said James probably won't serve any jail time because of lack of funding for jail beds and because he's a low risk offender. James will most likely serve on work crew doing community service, Gardner said. The sheriff's office will decide.

James, the freshman running back who hit the hole left by LeGarrette Blount and ran his way to the Rose Bowl, Pac-10 honors and a new UO record, agreed to plead guilty to one count of harassment in exchange for having the other four counts dismissed.

Springfield police arrested James on Feb. 17 on suspicion of strangulation, fourth degree assault and menacing stemming from an alleged incident outside his Springfield apartment on Feb. 15. He spent a night in jail before being released on house arrest.

James pleaded not guilty to all five misdemeanor counts.

On Wednesday, KVAL News broke the story that James would have a change of plea and sentencing hearing Friday -- one of two court proceedings Friday involving star players from the Universiyt of Oregon Duck football team.

Quarterback Jeremiah Masoli faces arraignment at 1:30 p.m. Friday on a felony count of second degree burglary.

'A trial several months away under these circumstances was not realistic'

The judge originally ordered James to report to jail by noon Friday. His attorney asked for more time, and the judge modified his order to 4 p.m.

The defense attorney, Buseman, explained why James agreed to the plea deal.

"Both parties have different versions of the facts," Buseman said. "This resolution allows James' ex-girlfriend to move on with her life."

As a condition of his release from jail, James was forced to wear a tracking device and was excluded from 76 square miles of Eugene, which pushed his academic standing to the brink.

"A trial several months away under these circumstances was not realistic," Buseman said. "This resolution allows him to pursue an education."

Court documents: Judgment | Sentencing memo