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Ex-UND linebacker pleads guilty to on-campus assaults

Brad Kelley

A former UND football player accused of assaulting four men on campus pleaded guilty Tuesday to the charges against him.

Brad Kelley, 20, is set to be sentenced Jan. 13 on two counts of aggravated assault, two counts of simple assault and one count of underage drinking.

Grand Forks County Assistant State's Attorney Faye Jasmer told the judge Tuesday that two students were outside West Hall smoking about 11:45 p.m. Jan. 30. The two guys were laughing about a friend's voice mail greeting, and Kelley, intoxicated, passed by, Jasmer said.

"Don't laugh at me," she said the students recalled Kelley saying. "I will kill you."

Kelley reportedly slammed a door to the hall, shattering the glass portion, and said, "Stop talking about me."

An altercation between Kelley and the students ensued; one student's neck was left with redness and pain, and the other's head received a laceration that required stitches, Jasmer said.

Less than 15 minutes later at Walsh Hall, Kelley struck a resident assistant in the crotch and a resident life coordinator in the left eye, breaking his orbital bone, Jasmer told the judge. Another man, an experienced wrestler, put Kelley in a "submission hold" until campus police arrived, she said.

Jasmer said Kelley told officers at the county jail he drank a liter of Jägermeisterthat night. She said Kelley remembers drinking, but not the altercations.

Kelley's attorney, Jay Knudson, told the judge he's reserving his comments about the facts of the case until sentencing.

"He does regret a lot of what happened," Knudson said of his client.

Kelley -- a freshman linebacker from Coon Rapids, Minn. -- was suspended indefinitely from the football team and was kicked out of West Hall, where he lived. A backup player, Kelley played in four games for the Sioux during the 2008 season.

He had previously pleaded not guilty to the charges, and his case was set to go to trial Nov. 17. Outside of court, Jasmer said Kelley turned down a plea deal that would have had him serving a year with the North Dakota Department of Corrections. Having not struck a deal with prosecutors, Kelley entered what's known as an open plea Tuesday.

Before adjourning, Judge Sonja Clapp reminded Kelley, who is not in custody, that he must abstain from drinking alcohol and have no contact with the victims.

The aggravated assault charges are Class C felonies that each carry a maximum penalty of five years behind bars and a $5,000 fine. The three other counts are Class B misdemeanors, each with a maximum sentence of 30 days in jail and a $1,000 fine.