The attorney for LSU defensive back Jalen Mills entered a not guilty plea for the Tigers junior Tuesday on a misdemeanor charge of simple battery. Brent Stockstill has maintained that Mills did not punch a woman outside his apartment in May, as was initially alleged.
Mills was first charged with felony second degree battery and was suspended indefinitely from the team. But he was reinstated by LSU coach Les Miles just before the season began after the charge was reduced to a misdemeanor. According to theadvertiser.com, the Baton Rouge Parish District Attorney's Office interviewed witnesses who contended that Mills did not strike the woman.
Mills has been a key member of the Tigers' defense this season with 28 tackles, an interception and three pass breakups.
If Mills opts to leave LSU early for the 2015 NFL Draft, as 17 Tigers underclassmen have done over the last two years, the case figures to be exhaustively researched by NFL clubs next spring, particularly given the NFL's pending strengthening of its stance against domestic violence.
Mills' next court date is set for Jan. 27, roughly a month before the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis.