Illinois basketball player Smith hearing set for Sept. 17


Illini basketball team member Jamar Smith, right, leaves the Champaign County Courthouse with attorney Mark Lipton after attending a court appearance for an alleged violation of his probation on Wednesday, July 30, 2008. Jeremy Werner

By Jeremy Werner

Jamar Smith is scheduled to appear in court on September 17 for a hearing to revoke his probation. The hearing will take place at 9:30 a.m. at the Champaign County Courthouse, 101 W. Main St., Urbana.

The Illinois basketball player could face a maximum sentence of one to 12 years in prison and a maximum fine of $25,000 if found guilty.

Smith turned himself in to authorities Tuesday after a warrant was issued for his arrest. The guard was allegedly in violation of his probation last weekend after drinking alcohol. Smith allegedly admitted to police that he consumed three beers.

Smith is represented by Champaign attorney Mark Lipton. Both Smith and Lipton declined to comment.

The 21-year-old Smith is serving two years of probation after pleading guilty last year to aggravated driving under the influence causing great bodily harm, a Class 4 Felony. Smith, who redshirted last season after his guilty plea, served two weeks in jail after driving a car into a tree on Feb. 12, 2007, injuring former teammate Brian Carlwell.

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Carwell recently transferred to San Diego State and joined the basketball program.

According to a news release from the city of Champaign, police officers responded to a call from the FuBar Lounge, 306 1/2 E. Green St., at approximately 2:30 a.m. for a report of criminal damage. Officers then responded to a verbal altercation that was occurring at the intersection of Fourth and Green streets where Smith was located within a crowd of people.

When the officers arrived, they ordered the group, which included Smith, to clear the area in an attempt to prevent any further altercations. Smith, along with other males, left but allegedly continued to return to the area several times. Police noticed a strong odor of alcoholic beverage coming from Smith who was warned by the police officer a third time. The officer recalled Smith’s probation which ordered him to refrain from the use of alcohol.

Staff writers Meghan Montemurro and Jim Shay and the Associated Press contributed to this report.