By JOEL COLEMAN
Former Mississippi State and current Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott was cleared Wednesday in Starkville Municipal Court on charges of driving under the influence and speeding stemming from a March arrest.
Judge Rodney Faver rendered a verdict of not guilty after hearing testimony from Starkville Police officer Momcilo Babic and watching a nearly hour-long video of the happenings during Prescott’s arrest.
“We’re obviously pleased,” Prescott’s attorney Jay Perry said. “Certainly we’re excited. More than anything, Dak is most excited to have this behind him and over with. He is looking forward. He will leave tomorrow headed to California. (Cowboys) training camp starts tomorrow. That’s what he’s most excited about. He loves this city. He looks forward to coming back, but more than anything, we’re just really excited, happy and pleased with the outcome and that it’s over finally. For Dak, he can now concentrate on playing for the Dallas Cowboys.”
During Wednesday’s proceedings, Babic, an officer on Starkville’s DUI enforcement team, stated that he smelled alcohol on Prescott’s breath, observed bloodshot eyes and saw Prescott appear to stumble among other possible indicators of intoxication. Babic’s testimony conflicted the accounts given last week by officer Donte Thomas, who initially stopped Prescott for speeding.
Last week, Thomas said he observed no smell of alcohol on Prescott, nor did he see any redness or dilation of the pupils in Prescott’s eyes.
In the video played Wednesday, Thomas could be heard saying that Prescott seemed sober prior to Prescott being given a breathalyzer test at the scene. The video then depicted Prescott going through portions of the field sobriety test before Prescott was placed in a patrol car and taken to the police station.
While at the police station, the video showed Prescott interacting with officers in a calm, coherent manner before he took tests on the Intoxilyzer 8000. The first test came up with an invalid result. A later test showed an insufficient result.
At one point in the video, an officer continually pressed Prescott on why he’d be drunk with the National Football League Draft upcoming at the time. The officer, who continually stated he was an MSU alum, told Prescott that he at first wanted to take a self-portrait with Prescott before he saw that he was intoxicated.
Throughout the exchange, Prescott kept a calm demeanor and maintained his innocence.
The video eventually concluded with Prescott leaving the police station.
After Perry presented a closing argument that pointed to evidence in the video as well as testimony from Thomas last week where much of the speeding charge was covered, Faver declared Prescott not guilty on either of his charges.