Former Green Bay Packers and Vikings safety Darren Sharper pleaded guilty Friday in federal court in connection with allegations he drugged and assaulted women in four states, the latest development in the former Pro-Bowler's fall from grace.
Sharper, wearing an orange jumpsuit with his hands and feet shackled together, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute drugs to commit rape and two counts of distributing drugs to commit rape.
Sharper was first arrested in January 2014 in Los Angeles on rape charges and has been jailed since February of that year. Allegations of drug-related rapes in other states — Arizona, Nevada and Louisiana — followed.
A plea deal was announced in March to resolve the charges in all jurisdictions.
On March 23, he pleaded guilty to sexual assault in Arizona and no contest in California. On March 24, Sharper pleaded guilty in Las Vegas to a reduced felony: attempted sex assault. He still faces state charges in Louisiana. Sharper is expected to serve a total of nine years in all the cases he faces.
Falcons waive alleged animal abuser
The Falcons waived linebacker Prince Shembo shortly after he was charged with aggravated animal cruelty when his girlfriend's dog died from blunt force trauma. Denicia Williams called police on April 19 to report that her ex-boyfriend had killed her dog. Williams told police she had taken her Yorkie, Dior, to Shembo's apartment April 15. At some point, she left Shembo alone with the dog, and when she found the dog later he was unresponsive. Williams took the dog to an animal hospital where he died a short time later. Shembo told her the next day that he had kicked the dog, and she ended their relationship.
Walker , Bowditch, Curran in lead
Jimmy Walker and first-round leader Steven Bowditch joined Jon Curran at 9 under atop the soggy AT&T Byron Nelson.
Jordan Spieth surged into contention with a 5-under 64 and is three shots back.
Walker finished a 66 at the rain-altered TPC Four Seasons with a par at 18 just before played was halted by darkness. There were 33 players on the course after the start was delayed three hours.
... Morgan Pressel closed with a birdie and an eagle for a 5-under 66 and a one-stroke lead after the first round of the ShopRite LPGA Classic. The 27-year-old Pressel held the advantage over Anna Nordqvist, Alena Sharp, rookie Min Lee and American Ryann O'Toole on the Bay Course at Stockton Seaview, where the weather was near-perfect.
... Top-ranked Rory McIlroy missed the cut for the second week in a row, stumbling out of the Irish Open after failing to make up for a disastrous first round. He finished with a level-par 71.
Hamlin takes Dover pole
Denny Hamlin turned a lap of 160.121 mph at Dover International Speedway to win his first pole of the season. Martin Truex Jr joins Hamlin on the front row. Kyle Larson, Matt Kenseth and Joey Logano round out the top five.
... Tyler Reddick took the lead with seven laps left and held on to win the Camping World Truck Series race at Dover International Speedway. Reddick passed Erik Jones to win for the second time this season. Daniel Saurez was second. Jones, who turns 19 on Saturday, finished third. ... Will Power set a track qualifying record at Belle Isle, winning the pole for the first of this weekend's two IndyCar races. Power's time of 1 minute, 16.0941 seconds bested the previous mark of 1:16.1371 by Takuma Sato last year. Helio Castroneves also beat that record, finishing second at 1:16.12.
Florida shuts out LSU
Lauren Haeger hit a two-run homer and threw a complete game to help Florida beat LSU 4-0 in the Women's College World Series.
The defending champion Gators (57-6) are one win away from heading back to the championship series. LSU (51-13) will face elimination Saturday night.
Big Ten teams win openers
Michigan, Iowa and Indiana won their openers in the NCAA regionals. Kendall Patrick hit two two-run homers and had a career-high five RBI to lead Michigan to a 10-5 victory over Bradley, and Tyler Peyton limited Oregon to one run in 7-plus innings to help second-seeded Iowa beat the third-seeded Ducks 3-1. Kyle Hart scattered five hits in seven innings, leading Indiana to a 7-1 victory over Radford.
around the horn
College basketball: San Diego State and the University of San Diego are scheduled to play a men's game on the San Diego Padres' home field on Dec. 5, the first time the major league park has hosted a college basketball game. ... Old Dominion men's coach Jeff Jones has prostate cancer and will undergo surgery Monday.
NCAA golf: Illinois' Thomas Detry shot 4-under 68 for a share of the individual lead and the Illini topped the team standings after the first round of the NCAA tournament. Illinois had a 2-under 286 total for a two-stroke lead over Georgia.