By Rosemary Regina Sobol
8:29 AM CST, February 16, 2014
Former first-round Bears pick David Terrell says he "got my life back a little bit" after a judge found him not guilty of drug and battery to police charges.
“I felt great. . . I felt great. . . I felt like I got my life back a little bit,’’ said Terrell, 34, who is a single father and lives in Lake Forest.
Police said officers were responding to a call of people smoking marijuana around 1:30 p.m. Friday Aug. 16 when they found Terrell and two others in an apartment in the 3900 block of South Calumet Avenue in the Bronzeville neighborhood. Terrell was charged with possession of cannabis with intent to deliver, a felony, and battery to police, a misdemeanor charge.
Terrell’s attorney, Stuart V. Goldberg, argued there was no proof Terrell possessed marijuana and that the injuries to the officer were not caused by Terrell. He contended Terrell’s “mere presence’’ in the apartment and his holding the door closed when the police tried to come in were not enough to support the charges.
“They had absolutely no facts other than a video showing him entering the building with two other men, one man carrying a black duffel bag,’’ Goldberg said.
Judge Joseph G. Kazmiersky found Terrell not guilty on Friday. Terrell had faced 4 to 15 years behind bars if convicted.
Terrell said the ordeal was “pretty embarrassing,’’ especially because he had to sit down and explain it to his 15-year-old son “Little Dave,’’ who was a freshman at Loyola Academy High School when Terrell was arrested.
“It’s just one of those things. . . You’ve got to be a man when something happens,’’ Terrell said. “There’s nothing more important than being a good parent and being there for him in every way.’’
When asked if he thinks his name has been cleared, Terrell was ambivalent.
“I really can’t worry about that. I mean I can’t say I don’t care because that’s a lie," Terrell said. “I can only keep living and walk with my head up, and you know, being a parent. There’s certain things that you can’t worry about."
Terrell was drafted by the Bears in the first round of the 2001 NFL Draft, arriving from the University of Michigan. He played four seasons with the Bears as a wide receiver and one game with the Denver Broncos in 2005, finishing his career with 128 receptions and 9 touchdowns.
Terrell said he misses the NFL but is intent on going forward with “life after football.”
“I can get back to my daily hustle, my daily grind,’’ said Terrell, who renovates buildings for affordable housing.
“Nothing was as exciting as playing for the Bears,’’ Terrell said. “Nothing was more exciting than leaving the game after winning. Chicago is an awesome place.”
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