Two sentenced on felony burglary charges

Updated: August 30, 2004, 6:10 PM ET
Associated Press

TULSA, Okla. -- Two suspended Tulsa football players, including the team's leading tackler last season, avoided prison Monday when a judge sentenced them on felony burglary charges.

Kedrick Alexander, who started at defensive back, and reserve Terrance Thomas were each given deferred sentences of two years unsupervised probation and 120 hours of community service. They must also apologize in writing to the victim and pay court fees and costs of less than $450, their attorneys said.

After two years, provided the pair abide by the terms of their probation, their records will be expunged. They could have received prison terms.

Second-degree burglary, the crime to which Alexander and Thomas pleaded guilty July 19 under an agreement with prosecutors, is punishable by two to seven years in state prison.

Thomas' attorney applauded the judge's decision.

"This is a kid that has never been in trouble before," attorney Steven Hightower said. "It was just a stupid decision they made at school while they were on scholarship. It was harebrained."

Alexander and Thomas admitted breaking into Taylor Carpenter Wingo-Williams' room and stealing a laptop computer, a Sony Playstation 2 game console and a credit card. The card was used to buy gasoline.

Alexander returned the stolen items after Wingo-Williams, a track athlete, confronted him, and he told Wingo-Williams that he and Thomas were behind the theft, police said after the incident.

Alexander and Thomas, 19, were suspended indefinitely from the Tulsa football program after their May 3 arrest.

Thomas, originally of Ashford, Ala., is enrolled in a junior college in that state and hopes to return to Tulsa, Hightower said. It was not immediately clear what Alexander's plans were.

Coach Steve Kragthorpe declined to comment Monday about whether the players would ever be allowed to rejoin the Golden Hurricane, who open the 2004 season Saturday at Kansas.

Alexander, 20, of Plano, Texas, led Tulsa in tackles as a sophomore last year with 121. He also intercepted three passes. He was named to the All-Western Athletic Conference second team.

He helped lead Tulsa to the biggest turnaround in college football, an 8-5 record and a trip to the Humanitarian Bowl, the Golden Hurricane's first bowl since 1991.

Thomas, who was a freshman, redshirted last season and did not play.

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press