Former Husker Alfonzo Dennard was found guilty Wednesday of assaulting a Lincoln police officer, a felony, and resisting arrest, a misdemeanor.
Dennard was arrested outside a bar at 14th and O streets last April 21st, accused of punching the officer in the face during a fight that occurred five days before the 2012 NFL Draft. The New England Patriots took Dennard, who was the 2011 Big Ten defensive back of the year, in the seventh round.
Prosecutors had also charged Dennard with third-degree assault of a 22-year-old man. The jury found Dennard not guilty on that charge.
Lancaster County Attorney Joe Kelly was pleased with the verdict and hopes the case highlights the challenge police officers face with crowd control when bars close in downtown Lincoln. "A case like this usually can serve to highlight what the police face down there very often. My memory is that there were 142 assaults in that one area in 2012. It shows what a difficulty it is for police to manage that situation day to day, keep everyone else safe, their primary job, while keeping themselves safe."
Kelly talked about the value of having video surveillance cameras in the downtown area. He thinks the video helped the jury reach a verdict in this case. "When you have these fights that occur after bars close or in bars you usually have some witnesses that have been drinking and you usually have some very different accounts of what happened."
Dennard's Attorney Terry Dougherty said they are disappointed with the verdict. "Our work is not done. We have to turn our attention to the sentencing hearing coming up in April. We'll be working for that so that the sentence is appropriate to what the evidence is disclosed in front of the jury."
The 23-year-old Dennard played in 10 games this past season with the Patriots, intercepting three passes and making 34 tackles.
He faces up to six years in prison. Sentencing is set for April 11th.