A former University of the Cumberlands football player, who allegedly assaulted a UC football player in late 2015 and then fled town on the day he was scheduled to stand trial, has pleaded guilty to amended charges.
Devin Preyer, 24, was originally indicted for second-degree assault and first-degree robbery in connection to the on campus incident, and was later indicted for first-degree bail jumping in the case.
On Aug. 2, he pleaded guilty in Whitley Circuit Court to charges of second-degree assault, an amended charge of theft by unlawful taking, and first-degree bail jumping.
In exchange for his guilty plea, prosecutors recommended five-year prison sentences on the assault and theft charges, and a one-year prison sentence on the bail jumping charge to be served consecutively, or one after the other, for a total sentence of 11 years in prison.
Judge Paul Winchester scheduled an Aug. 24 formal sentencing hearing.
On Dec. 4, 2015, Zane A. Parker was returning to his dormitory when he was attacked by fellow football player Davonta Rozier, 24, and Preyer, who took Parker’s laptop computer during the assault.
On Sept. 28, 2016, Rozier and Preyer’s case was set for trial. Preyer, who was free on bond, failed to show up for court and disappeared.
Rozier, who had been in jail since his Dec. 7, 2015 arrest in the case, pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of second-degree assault and complicity to commit second-degree robbery.
Prosecutors agreed to recommend a 10-year prison sentence but the remainder of that sentence was probated after Rozier’s sentencing hearing.
Rozier’s sentence also called for him to pay nearly $50,000 in restitution, much of which stems from Parker’s emergency medical helicopter transportation to the University of Tennessee Medical Center after his assault.
Preyer will also likely be ordered to pay restitution once he is released from prison.
Preyer has been lodged in the Whitley County Detention Center since he was extradited back to Kentucky on Oct. 27, 2017, from Arkansas where he was arrested on other charges, according to Williamsburg police.
Parker filed suit on Nov. 9, 2016 against the University of the Cumberlands in U.S. District Court in London claiming that the school failed to protect him against “foreseeable criminal or dangerous acts” on its property, and abandoned him after he was assaulted and recovering from his injuries.
The lawsuit sought $5 million in compensatory damages and $3 million in punitive damages.
Attorneys for Parker and the University of the Cumberlands filed a notice of settlement on Dec. 8, 2017, but court documents didn’t reveal the details of the settlement.