Sacramento Kings point guard Darren Collison pleaded guilty Friday to one misdemeanor charge of domestic battery after a May incident at his Granite Bay home involving his wife, according to the Placer County District Attorney’s Office.
Collison, 29, initially faced two charges related to the incident that occurred May 30 at his home.
“Words cannot describe the feelings and regret that I have been experiencing the last few months,” Collison said in a statement released Friday by the Kings. “My family and I found ourselves in such an unfamiliar situation and it has been a difficult few months.”
On May 30, the Placer County Sheriff’s Office reported, deputies were sent to a house on Oakbrooke Court in Granite Bay at about 1 a.m. after a woman reported being assaulted there. Deputies said the woman had visible injuries, and they arrested Collison.
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Because Collison lacked a prior criminal history and the injuries required little, if any, medical attention, the case was charged as a misdemeanor, officials said. Collison was charged with one count of domestic violence causing injury and one count of domestic battery.
As a result of his plea, Collison will receive three years of informal probation and must serve 20 days in the Placer County jail, according to the DA’s Office. If the county Probation Department allows, he can serve his jail time through an alternative sentencing program.
He also must complete a 52-week batterers’ program and perform 20 hours of community service. He received a criminal protective order “that allows only peaceful contact with the victim.”
Collison’s attorney, William Portanova, said the full 20-day sentence could be served in an alternative sentencing program, with no jail time. The alternative program can involve an array of community service activities, from working at the SPCA to helping people in some capacity, he said.
The Probation Department tries to determine the best fit for the person so the community can derive the most benefit from the individual’s skills, Portanova said. The 20 hours of community service are in addition to the time served in the alternative sentencing program.
“This is far from who I am as a person and not something I am proud of,” Collison said in his statement. “I take full responsibility for my actions. I have apologized to my beautiful wife that I have known and loved since high school. I appreciate and am thankful for the love and understanding from my family, friends and supporters. Now it is time to put this behind us and move forward.”
The Kings said in the same emailed statement that they were “disappointed” by Collison’s behavior.
“Domestic violence is a serious issue across our nation and one that runs contrary to our organization’s values. We’re disappointed by Darren’s behavior and today he accepted full responsibility for his actions. He is committed to using this incident to help raise awareness through education of this critical issue in the community. We’re working with Darren and the NBA on the appropriate next steps.”
The NBA has dealt seriously with players guilty of domestic violence in recent cases.
In November 2014, former Charlotte Hornets forward Jeffery Taylor was suspended by the league for 24 games after pleading guilty to a domestic violence assault and malicious damage to a hotel property.
Collison is in the final year of his contract with the Kings, who were scheduled to pay him more than $5 million this season. But for every regular-season game he is suspended, Collison will lose nearly $64,000.