Central' Chestnutt faces felony charge

Friday, September 17, 2004

The 6-foot-8 basketball standout ran into trouble early Sunday morning.

Three weeks ago, Central High School senior Scott Chestnutt was granted an extra year of athletic eligibility by the Missouri High School Activities Association.

This week, it appears Chestnutt might not be able to use that eligibility.

The 6-foot-8 basketball standout was charged Monday by the Cape Girardeau County prosecuting attorney's office with unlawful use of a weapon stemming from an incident that took place early Sunday morning. If Chestnutt is convicted on the charge, a Class D felony, he could face a sentence of up to four years in prison and a $5,000 fine.

Central athletic director Darrick Smith said no determination has been made yet on Chestnutt's ability to play basketball.

"We'll have to let the information come in before we can decide anything," Smith said Thursday. "The bottom line is he's still got a lot of things going on.

"Basketball doesn't matter at this point. I'm more worried about the kid."

According to the probable cause statement, Chestnutt, 18, was driving a vehicle at approximately 1 a.m. Sunday morning in Cape Girardeau that was allegedly involved in a shooting.A police search of the vehicle produced a handgun concealed in the glove box, the report said.

A co-defendant, Carl Lucious, 20, also is charged with unlawful use of a weapon.

The statement said two witnesses saw Lucious pointing a handgun from the vehicle on Bloomfield Street. The witnesses said Lucious fired the handgun while the vehicle was driving away, the report said.

A special prosecutor, Boone County Prosecuting Attorney Kevin Crane, has been appointed in the case due to a conflict of interest with the Cape Girardeau County prosecuting attorney's office.

Crane said Thursday he is reviewing the case to determine if the charges will stand or if any changes will be necessary pending further investigation by the Cape Girardeau Police Department. An arraignment is scheduled for Monday, he said.

Chestnutt led the Central boys basketball team in scoring in his first season, 2002-2003. Last year, he averaged 16.3 points in 17 games before being suspended from the team along with two other players for violating the school's citizenship policy.

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