UM running back sentenced in assault case

    Jeremy Calhoun

    Wednesday morning documents were filed charging Jeremy Calhoun with the assault of fellow University of Montana student Aaron Misipeka-Ward on May 5.

    The assault occurred outside Stockman’s Bar in downtown Missoula. Calhoun and Ward got involved in a brawl started by other people. Ultimately Ward took a punch to the face from Calhoun, knocking out two of his front teeth.

    Ward said in court Wednesday the incident has affected his life in more ways than he thought it would.

    “A lot of small things in my daily life that I didn’t really think about -- brushing my teeth twice, having to take my temporary teeth out at night,” said Ward.

    Deputy County Attorney Mac Bloom and Calhoun’s attorney, John Smith, worked out a plea agreement before appearing in court Wednesday. They agreed on everything but how the incident happened and how Calhoun should be sentenced.

    “The interaction between Aaron and Jeremy took three seconds, maybe four. Jeremy pushes him off, turns, Aaron is standing there in a fighter's stance, has his hands up, and Jeremy hits him," said Smith.

    Bloom argued that Ward was not in a fighting stance and said it was a “very serious” misdemeanor. He recommended 200 hours of community service.

    Calhoun pleaded guilty.

    "Portions of what each of you said resonated quite well with me. I'm willing to go with the idea here that this is a somewhat isolated incident and give you the chance to have this off your record," said Judge Alex Beal of the Missoula Justice Court.

    Beal issued Calhoun a 24-month deferred sentence to 100 hours of community service and a $582 fine. Under the sentence he cannot consume drugs or alcohol and must stay away from Ward. Violation of the deferred sentence could lead to jail time.

    The University of Montana says Calhoun has already been punished with a two-week suspension for the incident, and under their code of conduct he is now eligible to play.

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