University of Missouri

Mizzou’s Tre Williams pleads guilty to lesser charge, making return to team possible

DeMarkus Acy at SEC Media Days

Missouri cornerback DeMarkus Acy talks about the upcoming season at SEC Media Days.
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Missouri cornerback DeMarkus Acy talks about the upcoming season at SEC Media Days.

After facing a felony charge of domestic assault, Missouri defensive end Tre Williams has pleaded guilty to a reduced charge, according to court documents.

Williams, who has been suspended indefinitely from the team since December, pleaded guilty to a first-offense peace disturbance on July 11 and was sentenced to two years of unsupervised probation.

At SEC media days Monday, Mizzou coach Barry Odom said Williams’ status remained unchanged, but was hoping for a resolution quickly. In 2018, Williams played in six games for Missouri, but missed the Liberty Bowl after he was arrested on Dec. 9.

The police report said Williams assaulted a woman — his ex-girlfriend, according to his mother — in a car after a verbal argument. According to a Columbia Police Department probable cause statement, Williams grabbed the steering wheel to try and get the woman to pull over, hit her with his forearm and elbow, and slapped her in the chest. The woman threw Williams’ phone out the window and he choked her with both hands after she left the car, the statement says.

In June, a motion from Williams’ attorney to dismiss the charges was denied. The prosecution ordered subpoenas to witnesses for the July 11 hearing, and Williams entered a guilty plea.

The plea opens the door for a possible return to the team for Williams, who was facing a permanent ban from MU athletics had he pleaded guilty to the assault charges. According to Missouri’s student-athlete handbook, any athlete arrested for a felony is suspended indefinitely from team activities. The handbook states any athlete that pleads guilty to a Class D felony, which assault is considered, is permanent barred from MU athletics.

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Alex Schiffer has been covering the Missouri Tigers for The Star since October 2017. He came in second place for magazine-length feature writing by the U.S. Basketball Writer’s Association in 2018 and graduated from Mizzou in 2017.