An Illinois high school basketball player is facing a steep penalty of 2-5 years in jail in connection with charges stemming from an on-court brawl in November.
As reported by the Belleville News-Democrat and our TEGNA partner KSDK, Ahmad R. Sanders, a player for Alton, was charged with felonious aggravated battery and three counts of resisting a peace officer. He was eventually released after posting a $40,000 (FORTY THOUSAND!!) bond, but still faces 2-5 years in jail if he is convicted of the charges against him.
Sanders, an 18-year-old senior, will be tried as an adult for an incident that began when Sanders and an underage teen started a fight on the court, with the physical entanglement eventually spreading into the stands.
As for why this incident elicited such an aggressive response from police and legal authorities, the State’s Attorney assigned to the case made it seem as if there was a clear element of deterrent involved.
“While it may be understandable for tempers to flare in the middle of a sporting event – it is not acceptable for individuals to go so far over the line. In such cases, there must be accountability,” State’s Attorney Tom Gibbons told KSDK. “These charges are the result of an exhaustive review of all available evidence in the case, including video – and apply only to those individuals.”
No firm trial date has been set for Sanders or the juveniles facing their own charges in connection to the incident. For now, Sanders is still on the Alton roster heading into action over the Christmas break.