ASPEN - One of two Michigan State University football players arrested March 10 by Aspen Police following an early morning fight at a downtown bar has pleaded guilty and been sentenced in connection with his role in the incident.
On Tuesday, Pitkin County Judge Erin Fernandez-Ely gave tight end Brian Linthicum, 23, a one-year deferred judgment on a third-degree misdemeanor charge of harassment/strike, shove or kick. Linthicum, who is projected to start for the Spartans next season, was represented by Aspen attorney Mark Rubinstein and did not personally attend his sentencing.
The East Lansing, Mich., resident won't have to do any jail time so long as he meets the following conditions over the next 12 months:
• He cannot be arrested.
• He must take an eight-hour anger management course.
• He cannot drink excessive amounts of alcohol.
• He must complete 12 hours of alcohol-awareness classes.
• He must perform 40 hours of community service.
He also was ordered by Fernandez-Ely to pay a fine of $100 plus court costs.
Linthicum and teammate Max Bullough, 19, were arrested after police were called to the Regal Watering Hole on Galena Street at about 1:40 a.m. Once police arrived at the subground tavern, the two players fled on foot, police said.
Officer Jeff Fain was able to detain Bullough, police said, and charged the linebacker with eluding an officer and minor in possession of alcohol, both misdemeanors. But Linthicum wasn't as easy a catch for officer Adam Loudun, who ended up having to use his Taser during the pursuit.
Linthicum was accused of punching London resident Benjamin Nichols, a patron at the Regal, in the face, Deputy District Attorney Richard Nedlin said during the court proceeding. Nichols did not receive medical attention, according to police spokeswoman Blair Weyer.
A status conference was set for 1:30 p.m. on June 14 to determine if the 6-foot-5-inch Linthicum must pay restitution to his victim.
Linthicum had 18 catches for 230 yards in the Spartans' 2010 campaign. The team went 11-2, sparked by eight straight wins to start the season. In response to the incident, MSU Coach Mark Dantonio reportedly held both players out of the first two spring practices.