Saturday, May 20, 2006
Longhorns running back arrested after deputies find marijuana in car
AUSTIN, Texas - Texas running back Ramonce Taylor, who scored a touchdown in the Longhorns' Rose Bowl win over Southern California, was arrested Sunday by sheriff's deputies who said they found about 5 pounds of marijuana in a backpack in his car.
Deputies also found a live 40-caliber round of ammunition in the console of the vehicle, Sheriff Dan Smith said.
Bell County prosecutors charged the 20-year-old Taylor with state jail felony drug possession of marijuana, pending lab results to determine the total weight of the drug, the sheriff's office said.
If it weighs more than five pounds, the charge will be upgraded to a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in jail and $10,000 in fines. A state jail felony carries up to two years in jail and a $10,000 fine.
Taylor was in the Bell County Jail and will be arraigned Monday. It was not immediately clear if he had a lawyer.
Taylor had been excused from spring practice in March to focus on academics and had not participated in any team functions since, Longhorns coach Mack Brown said.
"We are aware of this recent situation and will follow it as the legal system runs its course. At this time, we will not consider reinstating him to the team," Brown said.
According to the arrest report, deputies responded to a report of a large fight involving as many as 100 people at a pecan farm in Little River, a community about 40 miles from Austin. Deputies also said they received a call from someone who had been at the fight and complained that a window on his vehicle had been broken. That caller turned out to be Taylor.
While interviewing Taylor at a convenience store, deputies were told by other officers at the fight scene that Taylor had been involved and had threatened to return with a gun. Taylor was placed in handcuffs.
Taylor told deputies he didn't have a gun and gave them permission to search his vehicle. Deputies reported finding the bullet and the backpack with the marijuana.
One of Texas' most versatile players, Taylor scored 15 touchdowns last season, including a 30-yard scoring run in the Rose Bowl, which Texas won 41-38. The win gave Texas its first outright national championship since 1969.