Accused abuser rejoins team

Running back Shawndarrius Phillips returns to the FIU football team despite the felony charges against him. This picture is from last year. (Samuel Navarro/PantherNOW)

Written by Zoe Chin/Sports Director

Despite the domestic battery charges levied against him, senior Shawndarrius Phillips is on the football team roster for the upcoming season and has been attending practices in the off season.

Phillips is also listed on the Pro Day roster from next year for the chance to be drafted into the NFL.

Phillips has decided to go to trial with the third-degree felony charge against him by the State of Florida.

The 20-year old allegedly choked his ex-girlfriend after an argument. He then threatened her.

Phillips’ ex-girlfriend also said he told her “don’t you ever speak to me or my family again” and that he would break her jaw if she didn’t leave, according to the probable cause affidavit registered last year in August.

Phillips’ was taken to family court to settle the dispute, but the case was disposed of and sent to felony court August 2018.

The warrant for Phillips’ arrest came out that same month.

During those months, Phillips played with the FIU football team in 11 games and made four touchdowns on 94 carries.

The only game he didn’t play was the Bahama Bowl Game against the University of Toledo.

Although there was a warrant out for his arrest, Phillips didn’t turn himself in to the Broward County Sheriff’s Office until December.

After turning himself in, Phillips pleaded not guilty to the charge brought against him in January and opted to use his right to a fair trial with a jury present.

Phillips verbally waived his right to a speedy trial on Thursday, Feb. 14, 2019 during a calendar call with the court, according to court documents.

By waiving his rights to a speedy trial,  the prosecution and defense will have time to look over evidence and develop the case.

Since then, he has attended another calendar call for a motion of continuance for the case.

This move to waive his speedy trial rights is just the start of  the journey for Phillips.

The Broward Sheriff’s Office did not respond to Student Media’s request for comment as to why Phillips wasn’t taken into custody earlier, despite knowing he was playing for FIU.

However, a BSO spokeswoman told ESPN that they needed to research why it took as long as it did.

Assistant Director for FIU Sports Media, Tyson Rodgers declined Student Media’s request to speak on-record about the ongoing case.

Feature image by Samuel Navarro/PantherNOW

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