The (Legal) Case Against Talib

March 30th, 2011

Look for Talib to cut a deal to a lesser charge and get between two and 10 years probation, a Dallas defense attorney told

Joe spent a bunch of time late last night getting up to speed on Texas penal code and chatting off-the-record with a friendly, seasoned Dallas defense attorney. (Truth be told, the guy wasn’t that friendly initially, but Joe warmed him up.)

First, let Joe say he’s written all sorts of law enforcement/cops legal stories in his past life working as a reporter for the Tampa Tribune, so this was hardly Joe’s first foray into the boring ass world of online statutes and legalspeak.

Talib’s assault charge is taken very seriously in Texas. If he goes to court and loses, then it is mandatory jail time. The judge is not allowed to sentence with probation unless instructed by a jury when a “firearm” is part of a second-degree felony assault charge.

Joe was told, per the defense attorney, that type of lenient jury-instruction scenario would be about as likely as Joe enjoying a sponge bath with Rachel Watson tonight. Not going to happen.

Keep in mind that Texas courts view Talib as a pretty good guy. His little misdemeanor battery in Florida was wiped from his record after successfully completing probation and anger management class. Talib’s NFL escapades don’t factor in. He’s essentially 25 years old and a first-time offender.

Joe’s defense attorney contact said Texas courts go easy on guys like Talib, especially when “the victim” in the case is an unsavory character, like the alleged sister-beating thug Talib fired shots at. And, per the defense attorney, prosecuters will take into account that nobody was seriously hurt during the alleged assault.

The defense attorney believes, based on the limited information available — Talib hasn’t been arrested yet on the warrant — that Talib will be offered a deal to accept a lesser felony charge, or a misdemeanor charge, and walk away with between two and 10 years of probation.

If the Bucs decision on Talib isn’t made already, it’ll be interesting to see how the NFL handles Talib assuming the above deal scenario plays out.

If Talib gets a good PR man and successfully paints himself as a guy who lost control protecting his family, don’t be shocked if Roger Goodell only hands out a four-game suspension.

20 Responses to “The (Legal) Case Against Talib”

  1. Matt Says:

    I really, really wouldn’t be surprised if that scenario plays out.

    Any, remember, the Bucs CAN’T punish or release Talib until there is a new CBA. So they’ll probably have the benefit of knowing a lot more about the situation by the time they can react.

  2. BamBamBuc Says:

    Texas court can’t take into consideration previous issues on field, but Warden Goodell can. My guess is a plea to a misdemeanor gets a 4 to 6 game suspension. A plea to a lesser felony gets 6 games to a season. Any plea is an admission of guilt and will be taken as such by the NFL. And remember, it’s not even about guilt so much as it is “upholding the image of the NFL and your team”, which Talib has failed miserably at several times now.

  3. Theodore Says:

    Exactly – Talib was with his family, “protecting” his family. I put that in quotes because obviously he went to far, making Talib a criminal too.

    But Talib wasn’t planning on being a criminal that day, and that should matter to a jury. And that should matter to us too. I’m not ready to jettison Talib for what was an overreaction to a situation he didn’t cause or want.

  4. Macabee Says:

    To paraphrase Charles Barkley, Talib is a knucklehead. He didn’t become a knucklehead last week, he was a knucklehead when we drafted him. So his behavior is predictable albiet in a domestic disturbance that went too far. We are all now viewing this through a logical prism once-removed from the heat of the moment. Domestic violence is by definition illogical since nobody would do anything logically to harm a family member and for some segments of our society, justifiably or not, calling the police is not the first option.This is not the first time this has happened with this family – it’s the first time it went this far. Already the sister is probably planning to visit the boyfriend in jail and he is already changing his story to Talib’s benefit. Nobody got shot at close range because nobody intended to kill anybody including the boyfriend who himself picked up a gun. The law is environmental and purely circumstantial. The DA has no political votes to get by winning at all cost weighed against how much the state is willing to pay to win this case. I stand by my earlier opinion that this will get get pleaded out to misdemeanor gun charges with probation. I don’t particularly care what happens to Talib’s football career. If the bucs keep him, fine; if they release him, fine. Mama said “If you make your bed, lie in it”.

  5. Joe Says:

    Exactly – Talib was with his family, “protecting” his family.

    Wwweeelll… shooting at a guy running away isn’t exactly “protecting.”

    For those condoning Talib’s actions, would you also be equally supportive had one of those missed bullets actually hit a bystander/neighbor, or worse?

  6. Dylan Says:

    Macabee your the man, I agree”d with your other post and I agree with this one. But I personally would like the bucs to keep talib. Or atleast mark and Raheem sit down and have a serious heart to heart with talib and see his side. I know if the Bucs do indeed release talib it’s not gonna be easy as it says on Espn. Mark and Raheem clearly like talib. And isent just that easy to give a boot to a close franchise corner and friend to them.

  7. Theodore Says:

    >>For those condoning Talib’s actions, would you also be equally supportive had one of those missed bullets actually hit a bystander/neighbor, or worse?<<

    We condone that all the time. It's called war.

  8. Rican Says:

    I like how we all know how the scenario exactly played out. Funny thing, not one fo us was actually there. Curious how that works.
    OFF WITH HIS HEAD!!!!!!!

    i guess

  9. Dylan Says:

    But it didn’t hit anyone lol… So thats that.

  10. Derek 'OldSchool' Fournier Says:

    Thanks for the update. Based on the information available, it seems you have to determine whether this behavior is acceptable at all. I get protecting a family member but I don’t understand how, if pistol whipping (allegedly) and firing a weapon at someone was warranted, calling the police was not.

    I am not demonizing Aqib (or his mother) and from what I can tell, despite his issues he was/is a pretty good guy. At some point, however, not only do his actions have implications on his life and the ones around him (kudos to the poster above who mentioned how horribly wrong this could have gone had an innocent bystander been shot by a stray bullet) but, selfishly, to the team we all support.

    It is no different (at a basic level) then any action that can have a larger impact on your team/employer. It shows:

    1. Horrible judgement
    2. A continued pattern of over the top violent response
    3. A complete disregard for others (up to and including his teammates)

    Yes, I know the impact to the person would have been worse but this is a Bucs forum, so that is why I focus on it. Just like TJack, whose talent is unquestioned, I would be done with this young man. His actions seem selfish and stupid and by allowing them to continue the organization is condoning them implicitly.

  11. Derek 'OldSchool' Fournier Says:

    @Theodore – Are you seriously comparing a stray bullet in a domestic violence situation to a death in a war zone?

  12. Theodore Says:

    @Derek – Just pointing out our hypocrisy. I do my best not to fall into that, e.g. a dead innocent little girl in Texas should be equal to a dead innocent little girl in Iraq.

    My post made it clear I thought Talib was a criminal. My point was simply that Talib wasn’t out to be one. Trust me, I wouldn’t miss Talib on the Bucs, but at the same type I’m not going to judge him. If you judge Talib because he could have killed a little girl, then make the same judgment for all the other dead little girls out there.

    Besides, Talib only had the gun because he’s a gun collector.

  13. Derek 'OldSchool' Fournier Says:

    OK. I better understand your stance now. Sorry to have missed it. As to your assertion of his collector status, I have no idea (that might have been sarcasm and if so, well done).

    Innocent dead regardless of who should be equal. I agree.

    I don’t agree that, regardless of his intent, we should ignore what could have happened (not in a legal sense but in evaluating his reasoning).

    I have sadly witnessed and intervened in domestic violence (not by choice) on a couple of occasions. I totally get protecting the ones you love.

    When that pursuit makes you take the steps that are alleged (again, at this point assuming they are accurate which may not be safe) then the problem is beyond the actions. It is the thought process that led the person to believe that they were rational.

  14. IMHO... Says:

    while I don’t totally agree with everything in this situation, it’s funny how people easily say call tha cops, they solve tha problem…VERY WRONG. Yes, he shot at him while he was running but whose not 2 say he comes back and murders tha whole family or get somebody to do it, which can still happen. Yes he’s made alot of bad mistakes in his life, but what person doesn’t? What I get from it all is a man protecting his sister and jeoparadizing his future in tha NFL 4 his sister in tha present. If any of u wouldn’t do that are a bunch of p^$$ie$ and will put money over family, as this is not a 4th cousin whom he met at a family reunion. Most people fail 2 realize is that authorities are humans alot of tha same emotions and feelings as us civilians they are bound 2 protect. They have good, bad, upbeat and lazy days and don’t always use proper judgement. Crazy as it is sometimes street justice is tha best justice.

  15. Matt Says:

    Great post Old School.

  16. Buckeyebob Says:

    Why does a big badass NFL player have to pistol whip anyone. He hits folks all the time , why does he have to pull a gun to protect someone ? Come on just fight with his fists and kick the guys ass. No need to pull a gun out….maybe he is not that tought a guy afterall

  17. OB Says:

    Until Aquib and his Mom tell their story, we don’t know anything about what happened besides a “boyfriend” was beating his sister, her Mom started shooting, Aquib took over and shot some more, the Bucs are looking at the “boyfirend” as a receiver with his speed and moves, and did the guns have blanks or bullets.

    What was the BF doing to the sister and how? Just because you are a NFL player doesn’t make you the baddest laddie on the block, so what was the BF’s background and was he armed with ANYTHING?

    I am not saying that Aquib doesn’t have al less than sterling record of judgement, I am saying find out what happened before we start shooting.

  18. MOBucs Says:

    If the police report has all the facts correct, you have to release this guy. Keeping a guy like that on your roster sets a horrible example and precedent for your team.

  19. BamBamBuc Says:

    Derek, I must agree.

    With all the incidences over the past year being handled “internally” by the team, it’s becoming public perception that the team is “lenient” or simply doesn’t care. The team will alienate the fanbase even more than it already is if they don’t take harsh steps now. They’re gonna have to do something publicly with either Tanard, Aqib, or both to let fans know they are serious about the team heading in a new, young, positive direction and that fans should be excited about that direction and want to come see games. It’s also very dangerous to a young, influential team to let things like this “slide” because a player is SO good that the team can’t afford to play without them. It gives players with potential to slip, like Williams or Blount, the idea that they don’t have to be as careful about their activities because the team will back them up no matter what. Time to put the hammer down and stop the nonsense. It’s not ok to fire weapons in populated areas when the situation could have been handled without weapons involved at all (Talib was apparently first to draw a weapon, even if only to pistol whip the guy). It’s not ok to get pushy with bouncers at bars or the cops that show up. It’s not ok to use substances banned by the NFL, even if it’s NOT performance enhancing. It’s not ok to have large quantities of said banned (and illegal) substance in your car with you. Stop the nonsense already. These actions are unacceptable.

  20. gitarlvr Says:

    Whether Talib gets sent to prison immediately or gets probation is immaterial. Ultimately he IS going to prison. There is exactly ZERO chance that Talib and his ZERO impulse control can make it through a felony probation period without violating it. Dude will end up in prison one way or another. Talib’s only hope is to somehow get out of being convicted of a felony.