Washtenaw County District Court Judge Ann Mattson sentenced suspended Michigan basketball player Daniel Horton to 24 months of probation and a year of counseling yesterday. Horton pleaded guilty on Feb. 14 to a misdemeanor domestic violence charge stemming from an incident with his girlfriend on Dec. 10.

Horton, 20, had been suspended indefinitely from the basketball team since Jan. 25, a day after his arraignment. After the junior pleaded guilty on Feb. 14, University officials extended Horton’s suspension through the rest of the season.

Horton declined to comment when asked if he was upset that he was not reinstated to the basketball team this season.

At the time of the alleged incident, he was sentenced under the Holmes Youthful Trainee Act. As a “youthful trainee,” Horton’s conviction will not be placed on his permanent record if he completes the sentence.

Before Mattson sentenced Horton, there had been a discrepancy about when the victim initially contacted police. Horton’s attorney, Gerald K. Evelyn, said the victim did not report the incident to police for upwards of two weeks after the incident, but the prosecution contended that the victim contacted police just four days after the incident.

Evelyn told Mattson that Horton “can’t hide” from the speculation of the community and the negative attention Horton has been receiving the University would not happen at other schools. Evelyn said Horton’s environment at the University is like a “fishbowl.”

In response, Mattson told Horton, “You do live in a fishbowl.” And she added that there have been “privileges” and “with benefits come responsibilities.”

In addition to the probationary sentence, Horton must attend a weekly batterers intervention class, is subject to random drug and alcohol tests and may not leave the state of Michigan.

Horton has also been in counseling for more than two months. When a reporter asked Evelyn, about Horton’s recent counseling, Horton interrupted.

“Me being in counseling has nothing to do with me having a problem,” Horton said. “It’s just to talk about different things and clear my head about difficult situations and issues that are going on in my life. To say that I have a problem is not fair at all. But I will say I did have things going on in my life that I did need to talk about, and that’s not necessarily having problems.”

Evelyn said that Horton did not need two years of probation and that a request will be made to shorten the probationary terms of the sentence when Horton is scheduled to appear in court again on April 6. If it appears that Horton has fulfilled the obligations of his sentence, he will not have to appear in court on that date.

“I’m happy that it’s coming to an end,” Horton said. “Now it’s just up to me to do my part and do what I’m suppose to do as far as the legal system is concerned.”

 

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