Legal experts weigh in on arrest of "Honey Badger" and others - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports

Legal experts weigh in on arrest of "Honey Badger" and others


New Orleans, La. — Legal experts doubt the former LSU football player known as the "Honey Badger" will face a jail sentence over his drug arrest on Thursday.  But some say Tyrann Mathieu's prospects for playing football in the future may have taken a serious hit.

Mathieu, ex-quarterback Jordan Jefferson and two other former LSU players were arrested Thursday on marijuana charges.

"Mr. Mathieu and Mr. Jefferson have been booked on simple possession of marijuana charges which are misdemeanor charges. There are dozens and dozens of those everyday in Baton Rouge," said attorney and Loyola Law School professor Dane Ciolino.

Three of the former players were released from jail before midday Friday.

"In the vast majority of cases defendants are either put through a diversion and the charges are dismissed, or the charges result in a guilty plea and no jail time," continued Ciolino.

Baton Rouge authorities said 10 bags of marijuana were found inside Mathieu's apartment.

"We found a digital scale and a marijuana grinder in the apartment as well, along with the drugs," said a spokesman for the Baton Rouge Police Department.

Fans quickly expressed disappointment.

"Honey badger, I'm sorry, why, why? We were with you the whole time," yelled one student on LSU's campus.

"I think he's very stupid for doing it," said another student of Mathieu's arrest.

Karnell Hatcher was booked with second offense simple possession of marijuana and Derrick Bryant was booked with possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, a more serious charge.

"If anything good happened for Mr. Mathieu and Mr. Jefferson yesterday is that they were not implicated in the distribution of narcotics, just the simple possession," continued Ciolino.

Cops said it all started when Jefferson arrived outside the apartment complex and tried to force his way onto the property. Mathieu eventually let Jefferson in, cops were called and when officers got to the apartment, they said they smelled a strong odor and Mathieu allowed them to search the premises.

"It's baffling sometimes why accused individuals who have incriminating evidence give their consent, but it happens routinely," said Ciolino. He said that could take potential defense motions to suppress evidence off the table.

Mathieu's arrest aside, Ciolino said the possible ramifications for his future in football should not be underestimated.

"Obviously as far as Mr. Mathieu's continuing eligibility to play college football those are all collateral consequences… The underlining conduct is serious. It perhaps reflects a problem with drug abuse that no doubt will cause people who might be interested in drafting him some concern," said Ciolino.

Mathieu, who was kicked off the LSU football team in August after reportedly failing drug tests, underwent rehabilitation before returning to classes at LSU.

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