Fresno State quarterback Zack Greenlee pleaded no contest Wednesday to a misdemeanor charge of possession of alcohol while a minor after he was caught drinking a beer at a loud house party near the campus Sept. 20.
Also pleading no contest in Fresno County Superior Court was Brandon Hughes, a 21-year-old Fresno State linebacker. He was initially charged with obstructing a police officer, but was allowed to plead to a lesser crime of disturbing the peace, also a misdemeanor.
Judge Jon Nick Kapetan delayed sentencing until April 27. Under a plea deal, the charges will be dismissed if Greenlee and Hughes complete a six-hour life skills class and stay out of trouble for six months, said defense attorney Jeff Hammerschmidt, who represented both student-athletes in court.
A third Fresno State athlete charged in the case, Fanny Johansson, a 23-year-old captain for the women’s soccer team, pleaded not guilty to a misdemeanor public intoxication charge. Her next court date is Nov. 18. She waived her right to be at the hearing; her attorney, Hristo Bijev, entered the plea on her behalf.
After the no-contest plea, Greenlee told reporters that he was sorry for his actions and apologized for the embarrassment he caused the university, his teammates and coaches, and his family. He promised to remain out of trouble and concentrate on his education and football.
Hughes declined to make a statement.
Hammerschmidt said Greenlee and Hughes must complete the life-skills course within 90 days.
“Young people growing up make mistakes,” Hammerschmidt said. “These types of distractions are part of life.”
The charges stem from an incident when police broke up a loud house party on North Bond Avenue.
Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer said officers saw Greenlee drinking from a beer bottle. He later refused to hand over a beverage in a red cup. He also did not take a Breathalyzer test, police said.
Hughes, who was not drinking, was with Greenlee and refused to leave when ordered to do so by officers, Dyer said. Hughes was keeping officers from doing their job and had to be physically restrained, Dyer added.
Johansson also refused to leave the party and was “very verbally abusive” to officers, the police chief said. Her blood alcohol content was 0.136; the legal driving limit is 0.08.
If convicted, Johansson faces up to one year in jail.
The university suspended Greenlee and Hughes for one game.