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Seferian-Jenkins changes plea, apologizes

Post by Todd Dybas / The News Tribune on July 15, 2013 at 10:53 am with 1 Comment »
July 15, 2013 5:31 pm

Austin Seferian-Jenkins changed his plea today at his pre-trial hearing for a DUI charge from not guilty to guilty. Seferian-Jenkins was sentenced to 364 days in jail with 363 suspended, so he will have to spend 24 hours in custody.

He was fined $695.00 and received five years of probation.

Seferian-Jenkins was also ordered to undergo and alcohol and drug evaluation, which he already had. That found no dependencies. Seferian-Jenkins blood-alcohol level was .18 percent when he was charged.

He also was sentenced to attend DUI victims’ panel and one-day information class, each of which he had completed.

Seferian-Jenkins released a statement on the matter through his lawyer Bill Kirk:

“On March 9, 2013, I fell well short of what is expected of me as a student athlete and a citizen of this community.  I want everyone to know how sorry I am for the disappointment and embarrassment that I have caused.  I especially want to apologize to my teammates, my coaches and particularly my family.  I also want to apologize to the entire University of Washington family for not living up to my expectations.  I hope that everyone can learn from my mistake so that they do not commit the same lapse in judgment that I committed this past March.

“I was always raised to be a man of my word, and I promised everyone shortly after this incident that I would accept responsibility for my actions.  Today, I kept my word and will accept my punishment because I deserve it.  I also want everyone to know that I will continue to learn from this mistake and will attempt to educate others to the dangers of drinking and driving.  I understand that I am very fortunate that no one else was injured by my terrible lapse in judgment. To all my supporters, thank you for standing by me, but please learn from my mistake and never, ever drink and drive.  I plan to move on from this, and continue to work hard to earn your respect back.  Again, I am deeply sorry for my actions and I hope that at some point, you can all forgive me.”

The University of Washington has no comment.

Seferian-Jenkins is projected by many as the top tight end in the country heading into this fall. After suspending him from spring football, it’s unclear how Washington and head coach Steve Sarkisian will handle Seferian-Jenkins’ punishment going forward. He is working out with teammates during independent summer sessions.

Seferian-Jenkins was in an one-car accident March 9 after his vehicle swerved off the road in the north part of Seattle’s U- District. He later refused to submit to a blood test.

“Coach Sarkisian holds our team to high standards on and off the field, and I fell short of those standards this weekend,” Seferian-Jenkins, 20, said in a statement shortly after. “I apologize for letting down my family, my team and the entire University of Washington community. I will take full responsibility for my actions and work to use this as a learning experience.”

The Huskies’ starting tight end was outside of the car, which had a “star-shaped fracture” on the windshield, with a bloody nose when police arrived at 22nd Avenue Northeast and Northeast Ravenna Boulevard.

When police arrived at 11:30 p.m., they found “the car at rest in an open catch basin at the southern end of Ravenna city park after leaving the roadway and driving over a small planted tree and the sidewalk.”

A witness said the vehicle had been traveling at “a high speed.”

The officer called an ambulance and insisted Seferian-Jenkins be taken to Harborview Medical Center. The officer also said in his report, “I immediately noticed the strong odor of an alcoholic beverage, thick-tongued speech, and watery bloodshot eyes, all of which are consistent with someone who has consumed a significant amount of alcohol.” He told Seferian-Jenkins he was under arrest at that point on suspicion of DUI.

Seferian-Jenkins was transported to Harborview in a neck brace and on a backboard, according to the report, despite saying he did not want to go.

Seferian-Jenkins repeatedly asked to speak to his lawyer, but provided a name that the officer could not locate in the Washington State Bar Association website.

At the hospital, Seferian-Jenkins “made it known” he was objecting to medical attention and wanted to speak with his lawyer. He eventually spoke with the on-call public defender, according to the report.

Police say Seferian-Jenkins refused to take the blood test which led the officer to obtaining a search warrant for blood. The hospital drew Seferian-Jenkins’ blood and is waiting on the test results.

The officer released Seferian-Jenkins from custody at 3:40 a.m. Sunday and left him in the hospital’s care.

The Saturday night incident prompted a statement Sunday from Washington coach Steve Sarkisian that the school will continue to support Seferian-Jenkins while holding him accountable for his actions by disciplining him in accordance with team and departmental policies.

The 6-foot-6, 270-pound sophomore from Gig Harbor High School holds almost every Huskies tight end record after catching 69 passes for 852 yards and seven touchdowns last season.

He holds the school tight end records for career receptions (110), receiving yards in a season and a career (1,388), touchdown receptions in a season and touchdown catches in a career (13).

Leave a comment Comments → 1
  1. guiltybystander says:

    AS-J won’t miss a down, especially the opener against Boise State. He DID apologize, which ought to be more than enough for Sark. I’m sure we’ll get a dollop of contrition from Kasen Williams, too. To paraphrase the line from the Lettermen tune, being a Husky means you only have to say you’re sorry.

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