Horton arrested on suspicion of third-degree assault

Friday, February 1, 2008 | 6:08 p.m. CST; updated 8:46 a.m. CDT, Tuesday, July 22, 2008

COLUMBIA — MU basketball guard Jason M. Horton was arrested early Friday afternoon in connection with a fight in which fellow player Stefhon Hannah’s jaw was broken outside of Athena Night Club, Columbia police said.

Horton, 21, of 301 Campus View, was arrested at 12:20 p.m. on suspicion of third-degree assault of a 26-year-old Columbia man, said Columbia police Capt. Brad Nelson. Police did not identify the victim.

Five Missouri basketball players were indefinitely suspended for breaking curfew at Athena Night Club early Sunday morning. Hannah’s jaw was broken in a fight outside the club that morning. In a statement released Friday, coach Mike Anderson said Hannah, Horton, Marshall Brown, Darryl Butterfield and Leo Lyons will all miss Saturday’s game against Kansas State. They already missed Wednesday’s 66-62 loss to Nebraska.

“These five players remain suspended indefinitely for the violation of our team rules,” Anderson said. “We made the determination to suspend these guys indefinitely, because we felt like there was more information out there that we didn’t immediately have in our hands. I certainly appreciate the efforts of the Columbia Police Department, as their hard work is allowing us to get a better handle on this situation.”

Nelson said Horton and three other suspended players, Brown, Lyons and Butterfield, were questioned Friday.

“We took statements from all four, including Mr. Horton, and basically they all admitted that they were there,” Nelson said.

The victim and a witness identified Horton as the person who assaulted the victim, Nelson said.

Horton is the first person arrested in connection to the fight, though more arrests “may be forthcoming,” Nelson said.

Horton was transported to the Columbia Police department and then booked and released on a summons.

Assistant Prosecutor Richard Hicks said charges have not been filed.

Anderson gave no indication as to when the suspended players would be back. Hannah could miss the rest of the season due to the broken jaw.

“Fighting, breaking curfew and being someplace our student-athletes shouldn’t be, those are all team rules in my book,” Anderson said in the statement. “While each player’s suspension revolves around the same incident, their level of involvement may vary and their punishment will fit that level of involvement. As we move forward, our priority will be to help these young men learn from this regrettable incident and grow as citizens in our community.”

Horton started for Missouri during a Dec. 1 loss at Cal and retained that position until Wednesday. He sat out a Dec. 27 win over Coppin State due to a back injury. Horton is averaging 3.7 points and three assists in 19 games this season.

Horton served a one-game suspension in 2005 for “conduct detrimental to the team” in the last regular season game against Kansas. He had started the eight games before that and started 23 total games in 2004-05.

Kalen Grimes, who started 24 games for Missouri last season, was dismissed from the team on July 17 after being charged for second-degree felony assault. He had been indefinitely suspended on July 9.

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Max Miller February 2, 2008 | 12:18 p.m.

As a longtime Mizzou fan and current parent I'm behind Coach Anderson 100%. I wouldn't mind seeing the current eight active players plus a couple more walk-ons finish the season. In the long term,the program and the young men in question will be better for the discipline. It may be that the incident was a case of the players being in the wrong place at the wrong time, but a rule is a rule. I question the policy of the student athletes living off campus. A curfew without oversight is impotent.

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