LSU's Hill pleads guilty to misdemeanor battery

BATON ROUGE (AP) — A judge placed his forefinger next to his thumb and told troubled LSU running back Jeremy Hill : "You are

this far away from ruining your life."

In Hill's latest legal troubles, he admitted

Friday in state district court to punching a man in the head outside a

bar in

late-April. State District Judge Michael Erwin, however, allowed

him to remain out of jail, on probation, after Hill pleaded

guilty to a misdemeanor battery charge.

Still, Hill's legal problems are not over and his college football future remains in doubt.

Reminding Hill of former LSU and Miami

Dolphins running back Cecil Collins, whose once-promising career was

wiped out by arrests

and jail time, Erwin told Hill that Collins "had a chance to be a

super star, and you may have that chance also, but you are

rapidly going down the wrong road."

Hill, who was already on probation at the

time of his most recent arrest, received a six-month suspended sentence

Friday and

two years of probation. Afterward, District Attorney Hillar Moore

said he would file a motion to revoke Hill's earlier probation,

which he received following his January 2012 guilty plea to a

misdemeanor stemming from his sexual relationship with a


girl at his high school.

Moore said it will be up to state District

Judge Bonnie Jackson, who handled Hill's earlier case, to decide whether

the running

back should serve his first suspended six-month sentence, or

remain on probation under conditions the judge sees fit and possibly

return to the Tigers.

A hearing would likely be set for August, Moore said.

Coach Les Miles, who suspended Hill after

the bar fight, said through LSU spokesman Michael Bonnette that the

Tigers' leading

rusher last year remains suspended indefinitely and that Miles

would have additional comments once the legal process is completed.

Hill's attorney, Marci Blaize, said the goal of Friday's hearing was to allow Hill to remain enrolled at LSU, "and we achieved

that." She also sounded hopeful that Jackson would see Hill has accepted responsibility for his actions and agree to keep

him on probation.

"I've represented people who are on felony

probation who have committed some violation of their probation and have

not had

to go to jail," Blaize said. "This could have possibly been

resolved a little easier and a little timelier if we weren't dealing

with somebody who wasn't in the national spotlight. ...

Ordinarily, it's not this difficult to resolve a misdemeanor case

without the lingering threat of jail time."

Hill was arrested after a witness provided

authorities with a mobile phone video showing Hill punching a man in the

side of

the head before a co-defendant, Robert Bayardo, threw another

punch that knocked the man out. Moore entered the video into

the public record, saying he did so because he thought it was

important for the judge to weigh the question of whether Hill

was in a fight or simply blindsided a victim who was not a threat.

"That video, to me, is tell-tale," Moore

said. "It's what you do when people are not looking, and in this case,

these two

individuals didn't think anyone was looking, but a camera was and I

think that's something that's important for everyone to

consider. ... When you take a look at the video and see how it

occurred, it is serious in a lot of regards."

Blaize, however, asserted, "This was a bar fight. The 15 or 20 seconds of video where you can see Jeremy on it is certainly

not indicative of the whole evening."

At the victim's request, Erwin ordered Hill and Bayardo not to comment publicly about the case. When asked by Erwin if he

understood his plea, Hill said he did, and added, "I apologize."

Prosecutors said the victim, an LSU student,

did not ask for jail time. He requested only that Hill and Bayardo

share his

$750 in medical expenses, not have any contact with him or his

family and not comment publicly about the incident on social

media or in any forum.

"He had some compassion, obviously," Moore said of the victim. "He didn't want to stand in the way of (Hill's) future."

The judge accepted those terms, handing Hill his latest suspended sentence and two years of probation, which now overlaps

with his previous suspended sentence and initial two years of probation that expires in January. Bayardo, who said he did

not know Hill, is not an LSU student and had no prior criminal record, received one-year of probation.

In May, Jackson placed more restrictive

conditions on Hills' initial probation, including a 9 p.m.-6 a.m. curfew

and a ban

from bars. Erwin said those conditions will remain but that he

will give Hill the flexibility to stay out later than 9 p.m.

when his football schedule demands it, should he be reinstated.

The judge also ordered Hill to undergo anger management counseling and perform 50 hours of community service.

Hill rushed for 755 yards and 12 touchdowns in 2012, his freshman season. Hill got increased playing time after season-opening

starter Alfred Blue went out with a season-ending knee injury in LSU's third game.