Parole denied for former Iowa hoops star Pierce
DES MOINES, Iowa -- Former University of Iowa basketball star Pierre Pierce, convicted last fall of assaulting and terrorizing his girlfriend, will not be released from prison early.
Pierce learned Monday that one of five members of the Iowa parole board rejected his early release, forcing him to remain in prison until Sept. 24.
The panel's vote had to be unanimous for Pierce to get out early.
Pierce's attorney Alfredo Parrish called the decision an "insignificant gesture" because Pierce is already close to being released.
Three board members voted last month to parole Pierce, and he was told he would know the remaining two votes within 30 days. It's unknown which of the members rejected parole.
Pierce, 23, formerly of Westmont, Ill., pleaded guilty last August to three crimes stemming from a January incident at the West Des Moines home of a former girlfriend.
Just minutes before his trial was to begin, Pierce reached a plea bargain negotiated with the Iowa attorney general's office. Under the deal, Pierce pleaded guilty to third-degree burglary, assault with intent to commit sexual abuse, false imprisonment and fourth-degree criminal mischief.
He was sentenced up to two years in prison, but his sentence was cut in half due to good behavior and completion of sex offender treatment.
Pierce was dismissed from the Iowa basketball team by coach Steve Alford within days of police confirming that Pierce was being investigated. At the time, Pierce was the third-leading scorer in the Big Ten and one of three team captains.
Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press
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