Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local News

June 18, 2014

Former CU athlete pleads guilty to conspiracy charge

PRINCETON — A former Concord University football player who was arrested in November 2013 and charged with robbery and other offenses pleaded guilty Tuesday to a charge of conspiracy.

Miricco R. Sanders, 22, of Wellford, N.C., entered the guilty plea before Circuit Court Judge Derek Swope. He is the third former CU football player to plead guilty in connection with the Athens home invasion case. Two other former CU football players, Riyahd A. Richardson, 22, of Athens, and Russell Bailey, 22, of Beckley, also pleaded guilty last month to conspiracy charges.

All three were originally indicted by the Mercer County grand jury on charges of robbery first degree, unlawful assault, wanton endangerment and conspiracy.

The former football players were arrested in November 2013 after a robbery was reported in Athens near the university campus.

All three men are scheduled to be sentenced before Swope on July 22. As part of the plea agreement with the state, they face an indeterminate sentencing of one to five years in prison.

Had the case gone to trial, the state would have shown that a handgun and cash was stolen by the three men after a fight ensued at the Athens residence, Mercer County Prosecuting Attorney Scott Ash said.

The homeowner, who was beaten by the three men, said they left with the gun and approximately $300. The firearm was not discharged during the fight.

The three men are no longer playing football for Concord. Ash said the state is always hopeful that young people charged with a crime can learn a valuable lesson and eventually get their life back on track.

— Contact Charles Owens at cowens@bdtonline.com

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