STILLWATER, Okla. -- Oklahoma State University basketball
coach Eddie Sutton will be arraigned Friday on an aggravated
drunken driving charge, the district attorney's office said
Sutton, 70, was accused of driving drunk when he struck another
vehicle, then crashed his university-provided 2006 Dodge Durango
into a tree Feb. 10.
He was charged Feb. 17 with the misdemeanor after his blood test
revealed a blood alcohol concentration of 0.22, almost three times
the legal limit.
Payne County District Attorney Rob Hudson said he expected
Sutton to enter a plea at his arraignment.
"We have made an offer or recommendation in the case. We
anticipate that he will plead Friday," Hudson said. "However ...
that really is the call of the defendant."
Hudson said a normal recommendation in a case like Sutton's is a
one-year deferred sentence.
Attorneys for Teresa Barnard, the driver of an SUV struck by
Sutton, said that prosecutors notified them about the deal that
will require Sutton to be on probation, pay a fine and court costs,
and have treatment.
"That's all he's looking at getting," said Chris Sloan, an
attorney for Barnard. "She's not too happy about it."
Barnard, who sustained minor injuries and was released at the
scene of the crash, does not want Sutton to go to jail but
questions whether he will be required to get sufficient treatment,
Hudson said Sutton has been through five weeks of inpatient
alcohol treatment and now is in an outpatient phase.
"I'm hopeful that it will be adequate," Hudson said. "It's a
little bit more intense than many of the inpatient treatments that
we see done."
Sutton's attorney, Trace Morgan, said in a statement that his
client has always stressed the importance of accountability to his
team and that he continues to lead by example.
"Coach has never backed away from his responsibilities and he
will continue to address those head on, straight up and with no
excuses," Morgan said. "He continues to work through his health
challenges as he said he would do."
Sutton's court appearance was delayed because he had back
surgery and has been undergoing treatment for alcoholism.