Two plead guilty in attack on Ball

Associated Press  |  Last updated December 19, 2012
Two of the three men accused of assaulting Wisconsin running back Montee Ball this summer pleaded guilty to battery charges Wednesday, but both were given a chance to avoid prison. Wendell J. Venerable, 21, and Robert A. Wilks, 22, pleaded guilty to substantial battery, a felony that carries a maximum penalty of 18 months in prison. But instead of imposing a prison sentence, Dane County Judge Rebecca St. John placed them in a first-offenders program. ''This gives you an opportunity to get the support and services you need to avoid coming back into the criminal justice system,'' she told both men, according to the Wisconsin State Journal. The judge didn't detail terms, but such programs generally last about a year and mandate that defendants meet requirements such as going to a class, paying restitution, doing community service and getting needed treatment. If the requirements aren't met, defendants can be re-sentenced. Venerable and Wilks, both students at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, were accused of attacking Ball in August as he walked behind two friends. They allegedly knocked him to the ground and kicked him in the head and chest, leaving him unconscious and with a concussion. A third suspect is scheduled to enter a plea next month. Ball, a star running back, has said he doesn't remember the attack and doesn't know why he was targeted. Witnesses told investigators that one of the attackers claimed Ball had jumped him a week earlier, according to a criminal complaint. That was an apparent reference to a party that Ball attended, but police have said there was no evidence Ball was involved in a fight. Venerable's defense attorney, Brian Hough, told The Associated Press after the hearing that his client was ''a victim in a prior altercation involving Mr. Ball,'' though he wouldn't elaborate. He said they were pleased with the judge's decision. A message left with Wilks's attorney was not immediately returned. Ball wasn't at the hearing, but his father attended. Montee Ball Sr. told the judge he and his family weren't angry at the suspects but that the crime was ''unexcusable.'' ''We just wanted to say that we hope that by accepting the plea it's to get the help that these individuals need,'' Ball Sr. said. He recalled getting a terrifying phone call the night of the attack and being told that his son had been injured. ''The last thing you want to hear is that something has happened to one of your children,'' he said.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Sanu: Halftime show played role in Super Bowl collapse

James Dolan is among potential group of investors of new arena for New York Islanders

Report: Rams, Clippers discussing NBA venue in Inglewood

Terrence Jones reportedly interested in joining Celtics

LeBron reverses course, says he ‘always felt good’ about Cavs

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Ole Miss tried to implicate Mississippi State in football scandal

Jamaal Charles could be on the roster bubble

Jimmy Butler on state of Bulls: ‘I just want to win at all costs’

Report: Giants will be ‘aggressive’ in trying to sign Jason Pierre-Paul

Report: Porzingis avoided ligament damage in ankle

Brooks Koepka meltdown includes whiff, stomping head off driver

Top 10 shortstops in baseball for 2017

The most dangerous NBA teams flying under the radar

Eat, Drink, Watch: Your award-worthy weekend planning guide

Grading the NBA trade deadline on the Vince Carter scale

Box Score 2/24: A night of NBA disrespect

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

The 'Pete Rose instead of Kareem? Surely, you can't be serious' quiz

Streaming sports docuseries you don't want to miss

Teams that can prevent a Cavs-Warriors NBA Finals three-peat

The NFL off-season is a passer’s fancy

The Aesthetic: Pushing the boundaries of the three-pointer

NBA coaches who should be fired soon

College Football News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Top 10 shortstops in baseball for 2017

The most dangerous NBA teams flying under the radar

Eat, Drink, Watch: Your award-worthy weekend planning guide

Grading the NBA trade deadline on the Vince Carter scale

Streaming sports docuseries you don't want to miss

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

The 'Pete Rose instead of Kareem? Surely, you can't be serious' quiz

Teams that can prevent a Cavs-Warriors NBA Finals three-peat

The NFL off-season is a passer’s fancy

QUIZ: Name every MLB pitcher who has recorded 10 or more shutouts in a single season

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker