Local News

Former Duke players plead guilty to gunplay on campus

Posted May 18, 2010

— Three Duke University students pleaded guilty Tuesday to firing a gun on campus in January.

John Drew, Kyle Griswould and Brandon Putnam pleaded guilty to possession of a weapon on educational property and carrying a concealed weapon.

Ex-Duke players move on after gun incident Ex-Duke players move on after gun incident

Each received a 45-day jail sentence, which was suspended to 12 months on probation. Each also was ordered to pay a $500 fine and perform 140 hours of community service, and they are barred from going on the Duke campus.

Duke University Police heard gunfire coming from a vehicle on Duke’s East Campus in the early hours of Jan. 17. The vehicle was located in the Blackwell Residence Hall parking lot and traced to one of the students, police said.

No one was injured in the incident.

All three were members of the Duke football team, and they were dismissed from the team after their arrests. They all subsequently withdrew from the university.

"It's a heavy price to lose because of stupid conduct, but this is stupid conduct. So, he's off the ball team. He's lost his scholarship," District Judge David Labarre said.

Bill Thomas, an attorney for one of the students, said they fired a gun into the air and never intended to hurt anyone. All three are from Georgia and will serve their probation there, he said.

Leslie Putnam maintained that her son wasn't involved in the gunfire, saying he was only trying to get a ride home after helping football recruits who were visiting campus. Brandon Putnam was on the dean's list at Duke before the incident, his mother said.

Butch Williams, an attorney for another student, said the three made a mistake and want to put the incident behind them and get on with their lives.


This story is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • wildcat May 19, 2010

    May they all receive their just.

  • duke1man2002 May 18, 2010

    Grow up guys!!!!!

  • laxmom May 18, 2010

    ...nice ! so much for the "honor code"

  • Doctor Dataclerk May 18, 2010

    I'll bet his dad, Clark Griswold is ashamed.

  • TarheelTurtle May 18, 2010

    Insincere, Find a dictionary and use it. Withdrew and expelled are two entirely different things. The all merciful Dook exists only in your mind.

  • Mugu May 18, 2010

    I doubt that this would have even made news if they were on the basketball team.

  • gingerlynn May 18, 2010

    when they lost thier scholarship they could no longer afford tuition so of course they withdrew!

  • insincere gesundheit May 18, 2010

    The school allowed them to 'withdraw', Turtles, for the good of their records - if they hadn't they would have been expelled. It was a merciful gesture by the university.

  • GoHeels1969 May 18, 2010

    Is there any particular reason the headline doesn't say "football players" instead of students? Yes, I know they were kicked off the team but, in every other story I recall about Carolina or State athletes, the titles have referred to them as athletes. Why the change?

  • maydaymanny May 18, 2010

    My hopes are that they go back to GA, go back to school and put their heads down, get work done, etc. However, they will likely be in jail in two months. These types never take responsibility or learn. Please prove me wrong boys!