LOS ANGELES -- A University of Southern California football
player has pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor count of exhibition
of a replica firearm and was sentenced to 60 days of electronic
monitoring and three years' probation.
A plea deal was reached Monday before jury selection in the
trial of Winston Justice, a sophomore and two-year starter for the
"I'm happy it's over. ... Now it's time to move on," Justice
Justice was arrested March 3 for allegedly pulling a pellet gun
on a student during a Feb. 24 dispute in a parking structure near
the USC campus.
Justice, 19, pleaded not guilty in April to three counts of
exhibition of a replica firearm. At his May pretrial hearing, he
rejected a plea offer from prosecutors that called for a 90-day
jail sentence. The plea deal was reached after Justice's attorney,
Larry Clough, twice met with Deputy City Attorney Melanie Chavira
in Superior Court Judge Patricia M. Schnegg's chambers.
Under the terms of the plea agreement, Justice can leave his
parents' Long Beach home only for workouts, one-hour voluntary
counseling sessions and scheduled meetings with an administrator
from USC's Office of Student Affairs. He also was ordered to stay
away from the area near the student housing complex where the
Justice was suspended for two semesters by USC's Office of
Student Judicial Affairs and Community Standards after his arrest.
He will sit out the 2004 season, but said he plans to return to USC
next spring and resume playing for the Trojans in 2005.
Last July, Justice was sentenced to three years of probation
after pleading no contest to a misdemeanor count of solicitation of
prostitution in Long Beach.