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Thursday, April 1, 2010
Hill pleads guilty on marijuana charge

Associated Press

SEATTLE -- Seattle Seahawks starting linebacker Leroy Hill has received 12 months of probation in Georgia after pleading guilty to a charge of marijuana possession stemming from a January 2009 traffic stop in suburban Atlanta.

Janissa Miller, a deputy clerk with the Georgia state court in Douglas County, confirmed Thursday that Hill had a morning hearing in which he agreed to complete an outpatient drug and alcohol abuse counseling program and 30 hours of community service.

Hill, who has started 61 of his 67 career games for Seattle, must also pay fines totaling $500. He is subject to random drug testing.

If he completes all the requirements in 12 months, he can petition the court to have the conviction erased from his record under the jurisdiction's conditional discharge program.

The 27-year-old Hill could be subject to testing and possible discipline in the NFL's confidential substance abuse program.

The Douglas County sheriff's office said last year that Hill had apparently fallen asleep behind the wheel at a major intersection early on a Saturday morning. Officers found less than one ounce of marijuana in the vehicle. Hill was released after posting a $1,500 bond.

Two days after the incident, Hill said he was embarrassed by "the poor judgment I showed." He added: "Please understand my actions were not consistent with the type of person I hope to become."

The Seahawks then placed their franchise tag for 2009 on Hill to keep him from leaving for free agency. He refused to sign an $8.3 million tender offer but eventually signed a six-year contract worth a guaranteed $15.5 million. The deal could potentially be worth $38 million.

Hill's agent, Todd France, said last year that Seattle placing the franchise tag on Hill showed the marijuana incident was behind the Seahawks as of February 2009, and that his client remains a valued member of the team that drafted him in the third round out of Clemson in 2005.