The crime saga that appears to have cost former Seahawks FB Derrick Coleman his Seattle job and perhaps his NFL career reached a milestone when he pleaded guilty Thursday to vehicular-assault and hit-and-run charges in connection with a crash that injured another driver in Bellevue a year ago.
Under a plea agreement, the charges were amended and could mean Coleman will avoid jail time in exchange for community service, according to a Seattle Times story. Sentencing is Oct. 14.
Coleman, 25, t0ld police he smoked “spice,” a synthetic drug that is not illegal in the state but can cause erratic behavior, about an hour before the accident in which his car struck another vehicle and caused both to roll over on a residential street.
The crash broke the collarbone of the other driver. Charging documents said Coleman’s vehicle reached speeds of 60 mph and did not apply brakes.
Coleman pleaded not guilty in June, but the state and Coleman’s attorney struck a deal to reduce a hit and run charge from a felony to a gross misdemeanor. The vehicular assault charge was reduced to “disregard for the safety of others.”
The state and defense entered a joint recommendation that Coleman be granted a first-time offender waiver on the felony, in which he would be required to serve 240 hours of community restitution in six months and 12 months of community supervision. He also agreed to pay restitution to the other driver and any property damage caused by the crash.
Coleman also will be required to undergo a substance-abuse evaluation and to refrain from using alcohol and non-prescribed drugs, including marijuana and synthetic cannibiods.
He originally faced a sentence of 12 to 14 months.
Fr0m 2013 t0 2015, Coleman played in 31 games with the Seahawks, including seven starts, and was a valuable special teams player. He was a member of the Super Bowl champions in the game played in New York, where he drew national attention as the NFL’s first deaf offensive player.
Coleman’s advocacy for issues surrounding hearing loss among children generated national praise.
After the accident, Coleman was suspended for a game against Carolina Oct. 18. He was inactive for the next game because of a concussion in the accident. He is a free agent.