Klein pleads to lesser charge
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – Dismissed from the Ohio State team in the wake of a charge of domestic violence, linebacker Storm Klein pleaded guilty Wednesday to misdemeanor disorderly conduct and has asked for re-instatement to the team.
Ohio State coach Urban Meyer is pondering his request.
Team spokesman Jerry Emig issued a statement that said, “There will be a re-assessment of Storm Klein’s status with the football team, as coach Meyer had indicated back in July. I don’t have a timetable on when anything will be determined.”
Klein had been charged two months ago with hitting the mother of their child during an argument at his apartment.
He pleaded guilty Wednesday to the equivalent, according to his attorney, of “making excessive noise.”
“The domestic violence charge was dismissed outright,” said Klein’s lawyer, Larry James. “We have said from Day 1 that the allegations that were put forth against Storm did not occur. He did not strike her. He did not hurt her. He did not intend on hurting her. And she verified that with the prosecutor’s office and with the victim-assistance program.”
A Franklin County Municipal Court judge sentenced Klein to 18 months of probation and court costs. A protection order, preventing Klein from having contact with the mother of his child, was lifted.
When Meyer dismissed Klein, he said, “The charges filed against Storm Klein violate the core values of the Ohio State football program. As a result, Storm has been removed from the team. It has been made very clear that this type of charge will result in dismissal. If there are any changes in the charges, we will re-evaluate his status.”
James said he spoke with Meyer on Wednesday. James anticipates a quick decision by Meyer to avoid any distractions before next week, when the Buckeyes make their final preparations for their season opener Sept. 1 against Miami (Ohio).
Klein, who started 10 games a year ago at middle linebacker, has been working out on his own, said James, who represented several Ohio State players allegedly involved in trading memorabilia for cash and tattoos that led to Ohio State receiving NCAA sanctions.
“I expect him to be re-instated,” James said. “I think we’ve established beyond a shadow of a doubt that he didn’t violate any core principle because he didn’t do any of the things that he was accused of doing.”
Klein, from Newark, Ohio, is a three-year letterman. He has played in 38 games. He was limited in practice this spring because of minor injuries and was listed as a backup at middle linebacker heading into fall camp.