Saturday, July 26, 2014
DECATUR, Ala. (AP) — A judge on Friday convicted Dallas Cowboys linebacker Rolando McClain of resisting arrest and disorderly conduct in his Alabama hometown and imposed an 18-day jail term that could interrupt the player's bid to restart his career.
Municipal Judge Billy Cook convicted McClain on the misdemeanor counts after a non-jury trial that lasted about three hours. McClain was accused of yelling an obscenity at police trying to arrest him during a disturbance in a crowded city park in 2013.
McClain won't have to report for his jail sentence until after an appeal is complete in state court. Cook also ordered McClain to pay $1,572 in fines and court costs. It's unclear how long an appeal might take.
The judge signed a document stating McClain, 25, was free to leave the state while challenging the conviction.
Defense attorney Harvey Steinberg said McClain would head to Cowboys training camp in Oxnard, California, within hours of the trial.
"My attitude is I think I ran into the only person in the entire state of Alabama that would convict Rolando McClain based on this evidence," Steinberg said. "Unfortunately, it happened to be the judge."
Cowboys coach Jason Garrett declined to discuss the conviction and said he didn't have any details on McClain's return to the team.
"I don't want to talk much about it because I'm not informed enough about it," Garrett said of the ruling. "We will work through whatever the situation is."
The former Alabama Crimson Tide star maintained his innocence and said police arrested the wrong person. He's been arrested three times in Decatur since 2011.
McClain tried to delay the trial so he could attend the start of NFL training camp this week, but a judge refused.
The Cowboys acquired the rights to McClain from Baltimore on July 1. He was the eighth overall pick by Oakland in 2010 but hasn't played since 2012.