Ex-Gophers athlete arrested for violating probation

by Elizabeth Smith

Former University of Minnesota basketball player Daquein McNeil has yet to go to trial for two felony charges made after allegedly assaulting his girlfriend last fall, but he was arrested on Friday — for the second time in two months — after violating probation.

McNeil violated his probation on June 17, and a warrant was issued for his arrest. He was arrested in the Marcy-Holmes neighborhood on Friday and is currently in custody at the Hennepin County Jail. 

In April, McNeil failed to make an appearance at a Hennepin County District Court hearing. A warrant was issued for his arrest at that time as well.

McNeil was taken into custody on May 20, where he stayed until he posted $10,000 in bail on June 11 and was released from the Hennepin County Jail.

The sophomore guard’s jury trial date is set for Aug. 3 at 9 a.m. He was charged in December with third degree assault and domestic assault by strangulation after an alleged incident in November.

Following the charges in December, McNeil was suspended from the basketball team. His former attorney said he plans to plead not guilty to charges saying he allegedly choked and whipped his girlfriend of 10 months.

McNeil was officially removed from the team in January after he failed to enroll in spring semester classes.

According to Hennepin County court documents filed in November, McNeil strangled his girlfriend, saying, “You ruined my life, now I am going to ruin your life.”

McNeil was released on bail on Dec. 1.

McNeil is now represented by public defender Bryan Leary, after his former attorney, F. Clayton Tyler, withdrew himself from the case in January due to McNeil’s failure to return his phone calls.

Conditions for McNeil’s release require him to cut off contact with his girlfriend, stay away from her home and avoid further criminal charges, among other stipulations.

If convicted of both crimes, he could face up to eight years in prison or a fine of up to $15,000.