White pleads guilty in October incident
EDINA, Minn. -- Suspended Minnesota freshman Royce White pleaded guilty Wednesday to a reduced charge of disorderly conduct and theft for an October shoplifting incident and scuffle with a guard at the Mall of America.
Defense attorney F. Clayton Tyler said after White's hearing in Hennepin County District Court that the disorderly conduct charge will be dropped if White stays out of trouble for a year. The judge fined White $300 on the petty misdemeanor theft charge, Tyler said.
On a separate matter that didn't come up at the hearing, the attorney said White was not involved in the theft of a laptop computer from a University of Minnesota dorm room last month. No one has been charged in that theft.
White has given police a statement and agreed to help police identify any suspects who might have been caught on videotape, Tyler said.
"My client wasn't involved in this," Tyler said.
Athletic department spokesman Garry Bowman said last month that White was being investigated in the laptop theft. Campus police have declined to name any suspects in the case. On Wednesday, Deputy Chief Chuck Miner said only that officers were working to set up an interview with a "primary suspect" in the next couple of days.
Coach Tubby Smith suspended White indefinitely after the shoplifting incident. Bloomington police said White stole a pair of pants and a shirt worth about $100 combined and shoved a Macy's store security guard.
After the laptop theft, Smith decided to keep White away from the team until the investigation was complete.
"I'm hoping a quick resolution of these matters will get him back on the team," Tyler said. "We're working hard to do that."
Team spokesman Garry Bowman said there's been no change in White's status -- he remains suspended and is still not practicing.
White was Minnesota's top recruit last season. He has not played yet with the Gophers (4-2), who play at Miami on Wednesday night in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge.
Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press
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