Alabama's Saban releases statement on player indicted along with three others in Crystal Beach brawl

Morris Joseph, Rufus Joseph and Deionte Thompson are former West Orange-Stark High School football players and Thompson is currently a sophomore at Alabama.

GALVESTON - A University of Alabama defensive back and three other Orange County men have been indicted in the March 2017 beating of another Orange County man on Crystal Beach.

Rufus Joseph, 18, Morris Joseph, Jr., 18, Deionte Thompson, 20, and Daletredricc Wolfford, 21, all of Orange were each indicted, October 26, 2017, on a felony aggravated assault causing serious bodily injury charge in Galveston County.

Morris Joseph, Rufus Joseph and Thompson are former West Orange-Stark High School football players and Thompson is currently a sophomore at Alabama.

University of Alabama Head Coach Nick Saban released a statement saying...“We are continuing to follow the progress of the legal proceedings in this matter. We are not going to make any judgments until that process has been completed.”

READ | Indictments on all four

READ | Probable cause affidavit

Thompson was a red shirt red shirt freshman at Alabama at the time of the incident while Morris Joseph and Rufus Joseph had celebrated a Mustangs football state football championship a few months prior.

When 12News reached out to the University of Alabama athletics department for comment Assistant Athletics Director for Football Communications Josh Maxson said that he not heard about the indictment and told 12News he would call back with more information.

Thompson played in 14 games in his first season, with regular time on special teams and also rotated into the secondary according to RollTide.com.

Thompson's attorney, Sean Villery-Samuel, of Beaumont, told 12News that he has video and witness accounts that will exonerate his client.

He also told 12News that he believes his client was named because of his status as a football player at the well-known University of Alabama.

Villery-Samuel, who plans to be speak with the university's athletics department, also said he wants to clear his client's name so that he can continue to play football and continue with everything else he desires in life.

Thompson made eight tackles during kickoff coverage and tied the the team for tackles at kickoff according to RollTide.com.

"As far as I know, there’s never been any charges and nothing’s really ever happened that — it seemed like a lot of nothing with everything we can find out about,” Alabama Coach Nick Saban told USAToday before the Nick’s Kids golf tournament in June 2017.

Asked if Thompson is with the team this summer, Saban replied: “Yeah, he’s here.”

A probable cause affidavit released in April on the spring break beach brawl during which Noah Frillou, 18, of Orange, was seriously injured included witness statements that implicated the men in the fight.

One woman told Galveston County Sheriff's Office detectives that she saw Frillou get hit by Morris Joseph.

Another witness identified Rufus Joseph and Deionte Thompson as two of the people that were kicking Frillou after he fell to the ground.

The witness also described Thompson's clothing.

Another witness identified Daletredric Wolfford, known as "D,"as also kicking Frillou in the head while he was on the ground. 

All four men turned themselves in to authorities nearly a month after the brawl and were each released on $20,000 bonds.

© 2017 KBMT-TV


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