The lawyer for four men injured in a brawl involving LSU football players expects more arrests for the beating of one client who suffered three fractured vertebrae.
"Other arrests could be made in this case that are just as serious as the two already made," attorney Michael Bienvenu said. "This isn't over."
LSU starting quarterback Jordan Jefferson and reserve linebacker
Josh Johns turned themselves in to the East Baton Rouge Parish jail
after police obtained warrants charging them with felony
second-degree battery for the Aug. 19 melee outside Shady's bar.
Jefferson and Johns are accused of beating Andrew Lowery, who is
one of Bienvenu's four clients. Bienvenu has declined to make public the names of the three other injured men he represents, including the man with the broken vertebrae.
He was allegedly pulled from a pickup truck after honking his horn at an agitated crowd of people blocking his way.
"This wasn't just Jordan Jefferson and Josh Johns," Bienvenu said. "We're still looking for those guys that started that initial beating of the driver, and it is undeniably curious that nobody on that football team can come forward and say who was involved in that."
LSU has barred players from discussing the case publicly. Police
have interviewed an undisclosed number of players, but have not
discussed what was said.
Police chief Dewayne White said he is no longer commenting on
the facts of the case because the investigation is ongoing. East
Baton Rouge Parish District Attorney Hillar Moore, who is reviewing
the evidence and will decide whether to prosecute, did not
immediately return a phone message.
Attorneys for Jefferson and Johns have said their clients are innocent and that witness accounts in a police report that implicated the players are unreliable. Still, for the players, the arrest warrants have already damaged their careers as both have been suspended indefinitely and will miss fourth-ranked LSU's season opener Saturday night against No. 3 Oregon in Dallas.
Jefferson's lawyer, Lewis Unglesby, has formally requested that LSU coach Les Miles lift the quarterback's suspension.
"The punishment he'll get from the legal system is nothing compared to punishment suffered as result of his suspension," Unglesby said.
LSU vice chancellor for communications Herb Vincent acknowledged
Wednesday that LSU had received Unglesby's request and accompanying package of evidence, but had no comment. However, Jefferson remains suspended.
Meanwhile, Unglesby provided The Associated Press on Wednesday
with a signed, written statement from Shady's employee Sean
Berrigan, who said there was no fighting amid the crowd outside the
bar until Lowery threw the first punch at another man who had asked
him to leave the area.
Berrigan also stated he never saw Jefferson hit or kick anyone. His statement matched what another employee, Jordan Neldare, told
the AP in an interview last week.
However, like Neldare, Berrigan also said he did not see the entirety of the fight. Another man, Chris Conroy, who is not a football player, also provided Unglesby a written and signed statement that the lawyer provided to AP.
Conroy said he was struck in the face by Lowery inside the bar while he was dancing with a woman. Unglesby said the woman to which Conroy referred is Elizabeth Siadous, who on Aug. 24 filed a petition in East Baton Rouge Parish Family Court seeking protection from Lowery.
Lowery has told police he was beaten a kicked in the face by Jefferson and Johns in the parking lot outside the bar. Another
witness, 19-year-old Victoria Long has given police a similar
account, including a statement that she saw Jefferson kick Lowery
in the face.
Bienvenu said Lowery's injuries included a fractured bone in his
upper jaw, called the maxilla, along with fractured teeth and a
concussion. He said his other client, who had the fractured vertebrae, had been knocked unconscious and concussed, and also had fractured teeth.
According to Bienvenu, that man had pulled up to the edge of the
fight in a pickup truck in order to retrieve a friend who was at the bar and was pulled from his vehicle and severely beaten after honking his horn at people blocking the way.
A passenger in the truck and the friend they were picking up also became embroiled in the melee and had minor injuries, which also were treated at a hospital.
"It should strike any reasonable person as odd that nobody can come forward and say what happened to these two people in the truck and their friend who they were picking up," Bienvenu said. "You would think people would have enough of a conscious to come forward."
Bienvenu said Lowery got involved when he tried to help the driver of the truck, who he did not know. All four alleged victims left the scene on their own and later went checked themselves into hospitals.