Maurice Clarett appeared but did not speak in a two-minute Franklin County Municipal Court proceeding Tuesday. Judge Amy Salerno freed the 22-year-old Clarett on $50,000 bond. The case will now be turned over to the grand jury, according to Clarett's attorney, William Settina.
Clarett turned himself in Monday night on charges of robbing two
people at gunpoint in an alley behind a bar.
Clarett was wanted on two counts of aggravated robbery since
early Sunday, when police said he flashed a gun and demanded
property from a man and a woman behind the Opium Lounge in downtown
Police said he fled with two men in a sport utility vehicle
after he was identified by the bar owner, who happened to come out
into the alley. No one was injured.
The 22-year-old former Buckeyes star, who helped the team win the
national championship in 2002, turned himself in around 9 p.m.
Monday at the county jail, Columbus Detective Art Hughes said.
Around the same time Monday, fourth-ranked Ohio State was
finishing a 34-20 win over No. 5 Notre Dame at the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl in
Myke Clarett, Clarett's father, declined comment when reached at his home Monday night. A recorded message on the voicemail box for his mother, Michelle Clarett, indicated that it was full.
Before the incident, Clarett was negotiating a deal with an NFL team, Josh Luchs, one of Clarett's agents, told ESPN The Magazine's Tom Friend. Clarett was expected to be allocated to NFL Europe if he signed, Friend reported.
Clarett sat out the 2003 season when he was charged with
misdemeanor falsification for filing a police report claiming that
more than $10,000 in clothing, CDs, cash and stereo equipment was
stolen from a car he borrowed from a local dealership. He later
pleaded guilty to a lesser charge.
Ohio State suspended Clarett for misleading investigators and
for receiving special benefits worth thousands of dollars from a
Clarett also unsuccessfully challenged the NFL's requirement
that players wait three years after high school before turning pro
in a case that went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. He was
chosen by the Denver Broncos in last year's draft, but the team cut
him in August.
Buckeyes coach Jim Tressel said at a news conference the day
before the Fiesta Bowl that he had recently spoken with Clarett
about opportunities in NFL Europe.
"Obviously, my reaction to that is it's sad," Tressel said
Sunday, "because, as I said the last few times people have brought
up the subject, my hope would be that he would have an opportunity
to go over to NFL Europe and make a comeback."
In an interview with ESPN The Magazine in November 2004, Clarett
said coaches and boosters arranged for him to get passing grades,
cars and thousands of dollars while at Ohio State. None of the
allegations was verified and Clarett never responded to NCAA
requests to be interviewed as part of its investigation
into Ohio State's athletic program.
Clarett was drafted by the Broncos last year but, because of injury, didn't get much chance to perform in training camp and was released in Denver's first round of cuts. He never got another tryout.
Broncos coach Mike Shanahan said he was "shocked" when he heard about the incident.
"Shocked. Hoping it's not true, and if it is, he'll have to deal with the consequences, which seem like they'll be very steep," Shanahan said Monday.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.