Posted: Jun 19, 2012 6:14 PM by Tara Grimes - MTN News
Updated: Jun 20, 2012 8:47 AM
GREAT FALLS- A Cascade County District Court Judge has sentenced former NFL quarterback Ryan Leaf to five years for drug and burglary charges stemming from spring arrests.
Attorneys on both sides and the judge said today they wanted Leaf to be treated "like a normal person" during this high-profile trial.
Leaf was stone faced throughout most of the hearing, but that changed when the judge sentenced Leaf to seven years in jail, with two years suspended. Leaf was charged with burglary, theft, and two counts of criminal possession of dangerous drugs for two separate arrests in Great Falls in March and April.
Leaf asked to spend part of his sentence at the Nexus Treatment Center in Lewistown. The judge agreed, but Leaf will not know if the treatment center will admit him until the end of the month.
Leaf has gone through drug treatment facilities before, but his attorney said he relapsed into use after having a brain tumor removed.
Leaf said he did not want this to be an excuse, and said he was humiliated, and embarrassed for himself, his family, and the community.
"I have found that 80 days in jail has been somewhat of a sanctuary. I've discussed with my family and they believe I've held them for ransom for 36 years and I don't understand why I should have to do that anymore. Five to ten years of Ryan-free drama with my family and this community, particularly with this nation may be pure bliss for people."
Leaf is currently on parole in Texas for a drug and burglary case back in 2009, and could face several years in Texas prison on top of the five years he'll have to serve in Montana.