SOUTH BEND, Ind.-- Former Notre Dame assistant football coach Corwin Brown pleaded guilty but mentally ill on Thursday to charges that he struck his wife and held her hostage with a handgun in a seven-hour standoff with police.
In a plea agreement, prosecutors agreed to drop a class B felony confinement charge against Brown in the August 2011 incident at his home in Granger, just northeast of South Bend. With his house surrounded by police, Brown eventually released his wife, Melissa, then shot himself in the stomach.
Brown, 42, pleaded guilty but mentally ill to class D felony confinement and domestic battery charges.
His family says they believe he sustained brain trauma while playing as a defensive back at college in Michigan and during his eight seasons in the NFL with the New England Patriots, New York Jets and Detroit Lions.
The plea agreement recommends a four-year prison sentence, but also states that prosecutors would not oppose a suspended sentence with Brown placed on probation. The agreement also calls for Brown to pay $4,471 in restitution to the St. Joseph County police department and $3,763 to the Mishawaka police department.
Corwin and Melissa Brown were at the courthouse Thursday morning, but they both declined to comment on the deal. Sentencing is set for Aug. 21.
Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press