Sentence for Ryan Leaf is likely to include treatment | Washington State football
Ryan Leaf could spend 15 months locked down in Montana, first in a secure drug-treatment facility and then in a pre-release living center, as part of a judge's sentence after the ex-Washington State and NFL quarterback's guilty plea for breaking into a house and illegally possessing painkillers.
GREAT FALLS, Mont. — Ryan Leaf could spend 15 months locked down in Montana, first in a secure drug-treatment facility and then in a pre-release living center, as part of a judge's sentence after the ex-Washington State and NFL quarterback's guilty plea for breaking into a house and illegally possessing painkillers.
District Judge Kenneth Neill sentenced Leaf on Tuesday to seven years with the Department of Corrections, with two years suspended if he abides by the conditions. Neill recommended Leaf's sentence start with nine months at the Nexus Treatment Center in Lewistown, which he would be unable to leave, followed by time in a pre-release center.
Leaf's attorney said he expects the 36-year-old to spend six months in the pre-release center if he successfully completes the treatment. At that point, Leaf could be eligible for monitored release.
Leaf told the judge he was embarrassed for himself and his family and added jail "has been a sanctuary" since his April arrest.
"I have enjoyed my time in there more than my previous 15 years," Leaf said.
As a result of the Montana case, a prosecutor in Texas is seeking to revoke Leaf's 10-year probationary sentence from a 2010 plea agreement for stealing prescription pain medication from a player's home while he was an assistant coach at West Texas A&M. An investigation also found Leaf obtained nearly 1,000 pain pills from area pharmacies in an eight-month span.
The prosecutor, James Farren of Randall County, Texas, indicated he thinks prison time might be needed in his state.
Farren said he hoped to file a formal request for extradition Wednesday. He said his understanding with Montana authorities is that Leaf would agree to waive extradition and return to Texas soon to allow a judge to decide what to do about the probation violation.
Leaf's attorney, Kenneth Olson, said family members fear Leaf might take his life if his addiction problems aren't fixed.
He said Leaf's problems with painkillers began years ago and persist despite past treatment efforts. Olson said Leaf relapsed after he went through chemotherapy for a brain tumor.
In his statement Tuesday, Leaf said the prison time would be "bliss" for friends, family and everyone else tired of hearing about his drama. He dismissed Olson's assertion NFL injuries are to blame for some of his problems, saying he has simply been "lazy and dishonest."