Idaho State defensive backs coach Davonte’ Neal was charged with first-degree murder in Arizona, with the university planning to terminate his contract over the matter.
The charge stems from a 2017 incident, reports said. Neal was also charged with one count of drive-by shooting and one count of discharging a firearm at a structure, both of which are felonies. He is being held at a county jail in Idaho and will be extradited back to Arizona.
Neal joined the Bengals in January after the program hired new head coach Charlie Ragle. The school has placed Neal on administrative leave.
“I have been in constant contact with (Ragle), who has known Davonte’ for many years and never had any knowledge or suspicion of a possible crime of any kind,” Idaho State athletic director Pauline Thiros told the Idaho State Journal. “The news of Davonte’ Neal’s arrest and charges in Arizona was a great shock. Going forward, we will cooperate in every way possible, safeguard our program and culture, support each other and our students, and allow the legal process to work. The news is devastating and we hope for resolution for all involved.”
Neal’s background check before being hired came back clean, the university said in a release Thursday.
A wide receiver and cornerback, Neal played college football at Notre Dame (2012) and Arizona (2014-16).
–Field Level Media
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