via OKTC courtroom reporter Peter Matthews III
Bama teabagger Brian Downing, whose trial was set to begin this morning, has reached a plea bargain, agreeing to plead guilty to lesser charges. Downing pleads guilty to one count of obscenity, one count of amended obscenity (reduced from a sexual battery charge) and now faces two years in prison served concurrently on both obscenity charges. Downing will be sentenced in 45 days, but Matthews reports that the setencing is a formality and that Downing will definitely be sent to jail for two years. (Presumably Downing could be released from prison early with good behavior, but I’m not sure what the reduction in time might look like).
Downing, who teabagged a passed out LSU fan in the Bourbon Street Krystal’s in the wake of Alabama’s BCS title game victory over LSU, faced ten years in prison if he was convicted of the sexual battery charge. So he’s decided not to try his luck in front of a New Orleans jury.
Yesterday Downing’s attorney said his client’s defense would be that the was drunk and stupid. That defense wasn’t likely to play well considering the lead prosecutor is a diehard LSU fan.
We’ll have more from our reporter Peter Matthews III as this story develops, but in the meantime, wow on the prison time.
The only real positive for Downing? He doesn’t have to register as a sex offender.
Does that seem like an appropriate penalty to y’all?
A bit of editorializing from me.
I think Downing was stupid and too old to do what he did, but putting him in jail for any significant amount of time is really, really dumb.
I know some of y’all disagree with my opinion, but he doesn’t need to serve substantial time in jail for this. He’s already lost his job and probably hasn’t slept well since shortly after that night. He’s also a married father. I don’t think jail is the appropriate punishment at this point.
More from New Orleans later today.