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Idaho State assistant football coach charged with first-degree murder in Arizona

UPDATED: Thu., June 2, 2022

By Alex Brizee Idaho Statesman

Idaho State University assistant football coach DaVonte’ Neal has been arrested on multiple felony charges, including first-degree murder, over an incident that occurred in Arizona, Bannock County officials told the Idaho Statesman by phone.

Neal, who joined the Bengals earlier this year, is awaiting extradition to Maricopa County, where Phoenix is located, on three charges: first-degree murder, dangerous drive-by shooting and dangerous discharge of a weapon, according to the Bannock County Bonds and Fines Office.

In a Wednesday news release, Idaho State University officials said Neal has been placed on leave and is “no longer a part of ISU’s football program.” The process to terminate Neal’s employment contract has already begun, according to the university, but he will remain on leave until the process is finalized, which the university said should be resolved “quickly.”

“Idaho State takes all allegations involving our employees very seriously, and we are committed to the safety and well-being of our community,” Idaho State University President Kevin Satterlee said in the release. “We are fully cooperating with law enforcement on their investigation.”

All ISU employees are required to undergo a criminal background check before employment, the release said.

Neal’s background check was clear when he joined the university in January to oversee the cornerbacks. The warrant was issued for Neal in Maricopa County last month.

“I have been in constant contact with Coach Ragle, who has known DaVonte’ for many years and never had any knowledge or suspicion of a possible crime of any kind,” ISU athletic director Pauline Thiros said in the release. “The news of DaVonte’ Neal’s arrest and charges in Arizona was a great shock. Going forward, we will cooperate in every way possible, safeguard our program and culture, support each other and our students, and allow the legal process to work. The news is devastating, and we hope for a resolution for all involved.”

Neal has ties to Arizona as a former cornerback for the Arizona Wildcats from 2013 to 2015, according to the University of Arizona’s website.

Neal, as of Thursday, was in custody at the Bannock County Jail without bond, according to online court records.

The State Journal also reported that Neal was indicted by a grand jury in Maricopa County on May 16.

A spokesperson with Bannock police told the Statesman by phone Neal was arrested after Arizona authorities advised them of the warrant.

The department declined to comment further and directed the Statesman to the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office.

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