El Paso County Sheriff’s deputies arrested UTEP quarterback Kai Locksley early Sunday morning on a myriad of criminal charges, leading the University to suspend the senior pending further information.
Authorities charged Locksley with driving under the influence, possession of marijuana (less than 2 ounces), unlawful carrying of a weapon and making terroristic threats. While we haven’t seen the charging documents, the offenses are typically misdemeanors, punishable, depending on the level, by a max of up to a $4,000 fine and/or a year in jail. Chances are Locksley won’t do any more jail time, assuming he doesn’t violate any terms of his bond.
The DUI and pot charges are somewhat self-explanatory. However, the terroristic threat charge may need a bit of explanation. A terroristic threat, in my experience, typically involves an agitated suspect saying something to an officer or EMT or public official that the recipient interprets as a threat. In Texas, these types of threats center on if the person on the receiving end believes the threat to be credible and, as a result, fears for their safety. These threats are classified as assault in Texas.
A terroristic threat, in spite of its title, does not typically involve any ideological, political, or religious threat. The charging language can be a bit misleading; regardless, it’s not a good look. I’d speculate that an inebriated Locksley didn’t follow rule number one for all criminal defendants once they’re in custody: Stop Talking. Rule number two by the way is - Stop Talking. Rule number three is never talk about not talking.
The subjective nature of a terroristic threat means any phrase that is deemed credible by the recipient qualifies. And no, being drunk is not a defense.
Unlawfully carrying a weapon is more straightforward, if you intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly have a gun or club in your car or boat, congrats, you’ve unlawfully carried a weapon. The code defines intentionally, knowingly, and recklessly for us. The most simple way to summarize is, if you don’t have a legal means of carrying the weapon, like a carry license, and you are engaged in criminal activity, you intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly and therefore unlawfully carried that weapon.
Even if you have a license to carry, authorities can still charge you with unlawfully carrying if you’re at a restricted location like a church, school, an amusement park or, ding, ding, ding, if you’re intoxicated.
No, Locksley didn’t brandish or threaten anyone with the gun because that would’ve taken Locksley to felony land. By the way, knives are fair game as long as you’re over 18. If you’re under 18, you can carry a blade as long as it’s under five and a half inches in length.
The Miners suspended Locksley from team activities pending more information. I’d expect this to get handled quickly and somewhat quietly. Locksley has resources to bring in a good criminal defense attorney to sort through the issues. I would expect to see him back on the field for the 2019 season.