Benson Could Spend Weekend In Jail For Misdemeanor

RB <B>Cedric Benson</B> pleaded no contest Friday to misdemeanor criminal trespass charges filed against him last October, according to an <I>Austin American-Statesman </I>account. Although he was reportedly sentenced to eight days in jail, Travis County law may allow him to complete his sentence by Sunday. Texas players report to August pre-season camp on Monday. <B>UPDATED SUNDAY</B>

"I understand that I made a mistake and I'm taking responsibility for my actions in accepting my punishment," Benson said in a statement released by school officials. "I had some options in how it was handled but I think what I have accepted will have the least effect on my teammates, my coaches and everyone at UT."

The misdemeanor charge is punishable by up to one year in jail and $1,000. On Friday, Benson was reportedly fined $1,000 and instructed to pay nearly $500 in restitution. Travis County law allows a sentence to be cut in half for good behavior. The law permits an additional day's credit if Benson participates in a community service project. Benson received a day's credit when he reported to the Travis County Correctional Complex on Friday evening but was released because the facility was already full, according to the report.

The Austin Police Department filed misdemeanor trespass charges against Benson on October 20. Benson was "excused" from the team when it played at Baylor but returned the following week for the Nebraska game. Texas shellacked the Bears, 56-0, without the then-junior running back and then beat the Huskers, 31-7, with him back in the line-up when he rolled for 174 on 28 carries.

Benson was arraigned after kicking in a Southeast Austin apartment door on Oct. 7 (four days before the Oklahoma game) in an attempt to recover a stolen large plasma screen television. Robbery charges were not filed because no contents were stolen from the apartment on Little Texas Lane near Stassney Road. Benson had filed a police report a year earlier, stating that his television, along with a Sony Playstation, some speakers and clothes, were stolen from his home. He thought his possessions were inside the apartment, Benson later said.

According to reports, a female tenant heard knocking at the front door. When she did not answer the door, Benson allegedly forced the door open. Benson departed when it became clear he was at the wrong address. The tenant gave Austin police a written statement after writing down a license plate number that led police to Benson. .

UPDATE: Cedric Benson completed the terms of his sentence Saturday after reporting for the second straight day to the Travis County Correctional Complex in Del Valle, according to the Statesman.


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