Bruner and Duckett arraigned

By Gus Bode

Preliminary hearing set for August 1

On Wednesday, SIU football coach Jerry Kill attended the arraignments of Brandon Bruner and Justin Duckett, the two football players suspended for a year after they were arrested for their alleged involvement in a residential burglary on June 19 at Lewis Park Apartments.

Kill told the Daily Egyptian the pair was suspended for unspecified reasons.

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Duckett and Bruner were in court for their first appearance. They each face charges of residential burglary and theft under $300, according to the Jackson Country Courthouse Web site.

States Attorney Mike Wepsiec said residential burglary is a class one felony and carries a possible sentence of four to 15 years in a department of corrections facility or a maximum fine of $25,000.

For theft charges under $300, Wepsiec said the maximum penalty would be one year in a department of corrections facility or a $2,500 fine.

The courthouse Web site said the two are scheduled for a preliminary hearing at the Jackson County Jail at 10 a.m. Aug. 1.

Though the courtroom was full of other people waiting for their first appearances, Judge Kimberly Dahlen called Bruner and Duckett up first.

Members of Duckett’s family accompanied him in court along with his lawyer, Neil Holley of the Clemens and Hood law firm out of Carbondale. Holley said he is not sure yet what he and his client face as he is waiting to see the evidence.

“Hopefully, within the next couple of weeks we’ll see what the state has for us,” Holley said.

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Bruner also had family at the hearing along with him and his lawyer, James Ansbro of the Cochran Group. Ansbro said he and his client are waiting to hear what the state will bring.

“I just got the discovery,” Ansbro said. “I can’t make a conclusion till I see what they have.”

Kill attended the appearance to support his players.

“They have lost a year of eligibility and that is tough for someone who wants to play football,” Kill said. “We all make mistakes and we take responsibility.”

Reporter William Ford can be reached at [email protected]

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