Tuesday, May 29, 2012

KU basketball player Ben McLemore enters into diversion agreement


A Kansas University basketball player has entered into a diversion agreement with Douglas County prosecutors over a minor in possession of alcohol citation, according to court records.

Ben McLemore, 19, had his case disposed Friday after his attorney filed the agreement, which calls for McLemore to pay $160 in court costs and a $200 fine. McLemore had received a ticket Nov. 4 from a state Alcoholic Beverage Control officer who alleged McLemore was found with a Red Bull and vodka drink at Abe and Jake’s Landing, 8 E. Sixth St.

His attorney, Al Lopes, indicated three months ago that he had prepared to pursue a defense of entrapment and alleged an unknown woman bought McLemore the drink that he accepted but planned to dispose of it before drinking it. Prosecutors disputed those allegations.

McLemore, who was a freshman from St. Louis, was ineligible to play in games last season because the NCAA declared him a partial academic qualifier.


WilburNether 9 years, 3 months ago

"His attorney, Al Lopes, indicated three months ago that he had prepared to pursue a defense of entrapment and alleged an unknown woman bought McLemore the drink that he accepted but planned to dispose of it before drinking it. Prosecutors denied those allegations."

Reminds me of an old Cheech & Chong routine: "Your Honor, my client merely found these drugs.....and was on his way to the police station to turn them in at the time of his arrest."

Yeah, right.

Ben Simonett 9 years, 3 months ago


College kids drink under age. this is not news

Displayhawk 9 years, 3 months ago

"zzzzzzzzzz." ............. If you're tired BennyBob, try some Red Bull and vodka! Ha!

SaltLakeHawk 9 years, 3 months ago

In a related story, a woman was recently arrested for being a huge b*tch.

Displayhawk 9 years, 3 months ago

Following this logic, if you touch or bump into a woman, you can then be charged with rape!

Jack Wilson 9 years, 3 months ago

No, no .. if you ever touch or grasp the *!#$ or the ^&%$#, without consent, or even the $#@, you can be charged with battery.

If the kid knows it's an alcoholic beverage

Jack Wilson 9 years, 3 months ago

Sorry .. if he knows it's an alcoholic beverage, he can't possess it, regardless of who buys it for him. Pretty easy concept.

Micky Baker 9 years, 3 months ago

If the woman did buy it, and the beverage enforcement agency knew what kind of drink it was, how did they know? Someone told them what kind of drink it was, and was probably the lady they used to entrap. Obviously, McLemore did not order the drink and would not have otherwise been in violation of the law if the lady didn't buy him a drink.

Law Enforcement officers cannot openly violate the law by providing a minor with alcohol, and then charge the minor and not the woman who bought the drink. This smells badly of entrapment.

Micky Baker 9 years, 3 months ago

Kind of like accusing a kid that didn't ever try to purchase an alcoholic drink, then suddenly after a woman does buy him one, this woman is not charged with providing alcohol to a minor.

This is entrapment. There was no way the prosecution could have proved beyond a reasonable doubt.

Jack Wilson 9 years, 3 months ago

First, I'm not saying you're wrong. I don't know the true details.

But neither do you. You are speculating based on what McLemore's attorney said. His version. How do you know that the lady was not arrested for providing alcohol to a minor?

Further, how do you know that the police even witnessed the lady supposedly buying the drink for him, so they could have arrested her?

How do you know there even was a lady .. again, that's McLemore, telling his attorney, who repeats it .. a self-serving story.

One thing we do know in the diversion agreement ... either McLemore admits to the crime, or admits that the state has enough evidence to prove him guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. That's how those deals work.

And my guess is the attorney got his discovery info from the DA, and determined .. hmmm .. maybe the entrapment argument ain't such a good one. An educated guess there. But still, admittedly, speculation. If it was truly entrapment, then the case would likely have been over -- that's pretty easy to conclude. It likely would not have been charged.

However, my speculation is supported by the result. Yours isn't. But I will certainly say again that you may not be wrong. I'd just caution you not to cry wolf when you have no real facts.

Geekinout 9 years, 3 months ago

Dear Notre Dame football players,

Take Notes.

That is all...

texashawk10 9 years, 3 months ago

I'm guessing Ben has already served his punishment for this by spending some "quality time" with Hudy before sunrise.

Tony Bandle 9 years, 3 months ago Allen Fieldhouse's 600 steps..Allen Fieldhouse BenMacs sneakers....GO!!

texashawk10 9 years, 3 months ago

Two simple words would've prevented this whole thing from happening, "No thanks." Even if it was entrapment, I have a hard time having any sympathy for McLemore because he accepted the drink not knowing what it was when he could've just told the girl no thanks. I have even less sympathy because he missed his original court date which is what made this incident a much bigger deal than it was.

I understand that underage drinking is a very common thing in college and I was guilty of it on more than a few occasions, but as a member of the KU basketball team, McLemore is a public figure in Lawrence and needs to realize that there are a higher set of standards for people like McLemore. When those standards are not met, it very frequently becomes public knowledge and it brings much more embarrassment to the school, team, and individual than if a random student was charged with the same thing because of the public nature of it. I do hope that Ben isn't dumb enough to make the same mistake again because that would very likely spell the end of his KU career if he were to have a second arrest for doing something incredibly dumb that was preventable.

Micky Baker 9 years, 3 months ago

Then if you hold someone else to a higher standard than yourself, you are saying this person is your superior and he is not. You're not either.

There was no way that law enforcement could have known he was a minor with a beverage without entrapment. Law enforcement isn't supposed to create crime that would have otherwise not been committed just to justify its existence.

If Ben had ordered the drink using a fake ID<<< He's guilty of this hands down.

Micky Baker 9 years, 3 months ago

Also, if all the student section at a KU football game that leaves to go drink a few beers were charged, that would be a BIG FFIN DEAL! And that is why most of them do leave at half time. And they don't always come back to support the team and that is an embarrassment to the university!

Tony Bandle 9 years, 3 months ago

Based on this ordinance, I was in violation of the law from August 26, 1966 till August 12, 1969 since my various roommates and myself used liquor bottles and beer cans as a primary means of decor.

I would owe the City of Lawrence about 2.5 million dollars!!!

{Hooray for the statute of limitations!!!!!!!!!} :)

kureader 9 years, 3 months ago

Words from a wise (old) man

I think we should string him up. How could a 19 role model allow himself to be caught with red bull and vodka in a public place? Crucify him! (What's the military draft age, again?)

OK, Ben. Run some steps. Next time, go home at midnight.

dynamitehawk 9 years, 3 months ago

Once again Ben's defense is suspect this Spring. Time to get out the curse jar. Bill and Andrea will work him.

James Minor 9 years, 3 months ago

If the woman was over 21 and gave a drink to a minor. Shouldn't she be charged with giving alcohol to a minor? All this is a conspiracy to keep KU from not winning their ninth straight Big 12 title. I saw the LPD in undercover clothing wearing Baylor, Texas, and KState jackets. The Big 12 teams are nervous cause the Hawks are going to win in Bball and football.

flyin_squirrel 9 years, 3 months ago

So Ben gets off with $360 in total fines, and the bar will be charged $1000's of dollars, and probably have to shutdown for an extended number of days. Anyone see the problem here? Minors aren't scared to get caught, it is only a slap on the wrist if they do.

kureader 9 years, 3 months ago

How do you know the bar was charged $1,000's of dollars and shutdown?

Steve Kubler 9 years, 3 months ago

That is a standard penalty for bars selling to minors. In this case it sounds like they sold to someone probably of legal age and that person passed on the booze. I do not think the bar is as liable for that as they have less control of what is going on. You are supposed to watch for that behavior but it is dang hard to manage on a busy night.

Chris1955 9 years, 3 months ago

For any lawyers or would be lawyers out there, I have the following question based on a real life situation that happened within the past two weeks.

Let's say a 20 years old KU student goes to a party occuring at a private residence in the Lake of the Ozarks. Let's say the police stop by after the party is over, say at 3:30 AM. Nearly all of the partiers have gone to bed. Those remaining awake are watching TV in the living room with the curtains open. Said police, knock on the door, and upon someone answering the door, invite themselves in and spend the next 4 hours waking up kids, and pressuring them into taking breathalyzer tests. Upon positive breathalyzer tests, the underage kids get MIP's. No drugs were found in the residence, even though that is what the balance of the 4 hours police home examinination was looking for.

Is this legal? Can you be given an MIP if you're not caught holding an alcoholic beverage? Can you be given an MIP if you've been drinking earlier, but were not at the time of the police search?

JayHawkFanToo 9 years, 3 months ago

Do they even have drinking laws in Missouri? They don't seem to worry about meth, so alcohol should not be much of an issue.

Steve Kubler 9 years, 3 months ago

I do not believe you have to take a breathalyzer test unless you are driving. Just say "No Thanks, I need to talk to my attorney, mother, father, HC, ..." or whoever. And yeah, what Stevemize says below too!

ExerSciHawk 9 years, 3 months ago

The police are not allowed to enter the residence unless given permission, if they entered despite the occupants only watching TV at 3:30am, it's likely the police will make up that there was a suspicion of marijuana smoke present when the door was opened. These kids should have said "No, you may not enter" and despite the police coming into the residence anyway the underage kids should have said "No, I'd rather not participate in taking a breathalyzer or sobriety test, please contact my attorney" from there the police cannot move forward with investigation... but still, they will use "scare tactics" to persuade them to give permission and cooperate A sober person should just cooperate but if the person knows they'll blow over the limit, which is zero tolerance with minors, then they should just ask to speak with their attorney.... this may sound suspicious, but if they're going to be charged anyway then what's the difference

ExerSciHawk 9 years, 3 months ago

Exactly..... the offending minors didn't have to comply with anything, but they did and incriminated themselves... lesson learned

rockchalk_dpu 9 years, 3 months ago

I've seen situations where underage kids have been given MIPs for being drunk because technically their bodies were possessing alcohol.... It's a dumb loophole that the police try to use, but I suppose an effective one.

As far as what others below have added, the police need to have probable cause to enter a residence uninvited, or must be allowed in by a consenting person. But I wouldn't be surprised if when the door was opened up, the police had a clear line into the house and could see the evidence of a large party, prompting them to ask if the student if they were 21. Depending on that answer, they could have walked in after having reasonable suspicion that a crime took place, and then asking whether there were any other underage people in the house or doing a protective sweep of the house to make sure there wasn't any danger to the officers present. Kubie is right though, these kids should have refused a breathalyzer, but this also carries penalties with it (this is where we get suspicion of driving under the influence charges that we often read about in the news). Konkey is right as well, the breathalyzers are a search and a search requires a warrant absent exigent circumstances. However, the Supreme Court has ruled that exigent circumstances do not exist in cases of intoxication where there is a fear that the suspect will sleep off the drunkenness. Given the timeframe, the police could easily have asked for a warrant rather than carrying on illegal searches of a person. This also makes me question whether any of these kids were given their rights because it appears that this is an investigatory setting where the kids were not allowed to refuse questions and detained from leaving the area, making them under arrest.

All of the facts provided sound like the police came upon a large house, saw lights on with several cars parked out front with collegiate stickers or license plates and decided to see if anyone was awake hoping to find something. A lot of what you described is not allowable for police officers, so it seems that this shouldn't survive, but I've seen worse cases stick with friends in high school or college.

stevemize 9 years, 3 months ago

Sounds like an illegal search has taken place. Police cannot "invite" themselves into a residence. Police are required to ask and receive permission to enter a residence and search, unless there are exigent circumstances.

jaybate 9 years, 3 months ago

"Some Things Not to Say When Entering into a Diversion Agreement"

~Thanks your honor. Let me buy you a double.

~This diversion makes me thirsty. Where's the nearest juice joint?

~Your honor, that was the most expensive Bull I ever held for someone. Must have been a very good month, eh?

~Your honor, give me some luv here. Me holdin' that RB with a Vodka primer out in the open probably kept the officer from having to call in a bomb dog.

~Your honor, I was offered either the RB with the potato juice, or some Missouri Sudafed. I still think I made a righteous choice.

~Come on, your honor, an RB won't even light with potato juice. Ya gotta use a 151 IED to be a hazard to public safety.

(Note 1: All fiction. No malice. No endorsement of underage drinking either.)

(Note 2: BenMac, you have so much to live for and accomplish. Don't drink. Become the best you can be.)

shabbasuraj 9 years, 3 months ago

Come on Ben... at least make it a.....

"Rum and Redbull"

Kyle Neuer 9 years, 3 months ago

Regardless of who bought what, he should have never gotten past the front door of the bar. His problem was being there in the first place.

ExerSciHawk 9 years, 3 months ago

Pretty sure that bar is still 18 to enter, 21 to drink... so that fact that he was inside is not the issue

ku_foaf 9 years, 3 months ago

The best way to view this entire event for all involved: in the rear view mirror.

I imagine Ben has learned a lot about celebrity, trying to keep secrets from you coach in Lawrence, and lawyers. I am sure he is glad it is just over, no real harm done to him or anyone else.

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