Aqib Talib officially indicted on felony charges

Tampa Bay Buccaneers corner back Aqib Talib (R) runs after intercepting a pass meant for Washington Redskins Santana Moss (89) during 4th quarter of their NFL football game in Landover, Maryland October 4, 2009. REUTERS/Andrew Cameron (UNITED STATES SPORT FOOTBALL)

Buccaneers cornerback Aqib Talib was officially indicted Friday morning on felony charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.


The next step is to schedule hearings then a trial, where Talib could face 2-20 years in prison if convicted of firing multiple shots at his sister’s boyfriend. If he’s found not guilty, it’s not hard to imagine coach Raheem Morris going to bat for him in the Bucs front office. Considering his history, Talib will face NFL discipline regardless of the outcome.

The key here is that an indictment doesn’t mean Talib is guilty of any crime. It just means that there has been an official charge made and now both sides will build a case.

As I wrote yesterday, the league can’t punish players during the lockout but Roger Goodell is still keeping tabs on legal situations like Talib’s. The cornerback obviously has a much bigger issue on his plate than what kind of punishment Goodell is going to dole out, but it’s worth noting that he’ll probably be disciplined once his trial wraps up.

It’ll be interesting to see if he’ll serve much – if any – jail time. Usually when there’s a time frame of X amount of months/years an athlete is facing in prison (which is 2-20 years in Talib’s case), they usually wind up spending anywhere from zero to about half a second behind bars. Assuming he’s guilty of breaking the law, I doubt Talib’s situation will be any different but I could be wrong.

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Report: Bucs’ corner Talib to be indicted on felony charge

Tampa Bay Buccaneers Aqib Talib intercepts the ball on a pass meant for Washington Redskins Malcolm Kelly (12) in the second quarter during their NFL football game in Landover, Maryland October 4, 2009. REUTERS/Molly Riley (UNITED STATES SPORT FOOTBALL)

The St. Petersburg Times is reporting that Buccaneers cornerback Aqib Talib will be indicted by a Dallas grand jury on felony charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

However, the indictment is not expected to officially be reported until Friday. Earlier this week, an examining trial determined there was enough evidence in the shooting case involving Talib to be heard by the grand jury Wednesday.

Talib is charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, a second degree felony which carries a punishment of 2-20 years in prison, for his role in a March 21 shooting in Garland, Texas.

Police say Talib attempted to pistol whip and later fired gunshots at his sister’s boyfriend, Shannon Billings. Nobody was injured. Talib’s mother, Okolo, also faces similar charges.

While the league can’t dole out punishment during the lockout, Roger Goodell is said to be documenting players’ legal issues and will act accordingly once the labor dispute ends. That said, Talib’s issues go far beyond his playing career or the NFL. After all, the guy is facing 20 years in prison.

Of course, I have a hard time believing that Talib will serve a long stint behind bars. So many athletes in various sports (especially the NFL) have faced jail time before, only to get off with a slap on the wrist. I’m not saying it’s right. But if history is any indication, I doubt Talib will be put away for very long, if at all.

Besides, his defense team may have a strong case for self-defense since he acted on behalf of his sister, who was allegedly attacked by her boyfriend before Talib, uh, stepped in. I’m not a lawyer so excuse my ignorance here, but it would seem like Talib’s defense team could get him out of any real jail time. (Again, I’m not rooting for or against Talib going to jail. If he broke any laws, then he deserves to pay the time.)

Either way, the young cornerback is in some serious trouble and his career is in jeopardy.

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