Former Mizzou wide receiver pleads guilty to assault

Wednesday, May 12, 2010 | 4:21 p.m. CDT; updated 5:19 p.m. CDT, Wednesday, May 12, 2010

COLUMBIA — Former Missouri wide receiver Tommy Saunders was sentenced to 15 days in the Boone County Jail after pleading guilty on May 5 to misdemeanor third-degree assault.

The charge stemmed from a Nov. 20, 2009, incident in which court documents say Saunders punched Branden Gregory outside Tonic, a nightclub at 122 S. Ninth St., giving Gregory a broken nose and a concussion.

Saunders turned himself in at the Columbia Police Department the next day.

Saunders was also sentenced to two years of supervised probation and is banned from entering bars. He was ordered to pay the court's costs in addition to $967.55 in restitution to Gregory, whom Saunders was prohibited from contacting.

Saunders' attorney, Chris Slusher, said Saunders could ask for home detention instead of serving the 15 days in Boone County Jail.

Saunders, a former walk-on who became a fan favorite with the Tigers, currently plays for the U.S. rugby team, which sometimes competes abroad.

Boone County Associate Circuit Judge Deborah Daniels, who presided over the case, granted an order Monday allowing Saunders to travel internationally.

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Renee Lawhun May 14, 2010 | 12:03 p.m.

Two guys walk into a bar. One gets drunk and fondles the other's girlfriend. The other, a non-drinker, and designated driver, asks him to stop. The touching continues, and the drunk gets punched in the face. This is why Tommy Saunders is banned from bars for two years? If my daughter is ever disrespected in the way his girlfriend was, I HOPE Tommy Saunders is nearby.

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