Ex-Central player fails to appear in court

Saturday, November 13, 2004

An arrest warrant was issued for a former Central High School basketball player this week after he missed a court appearance.

Scott Chestnutt was charged Sept. 13 with unlawful use of a weapon. The warrant, which remains outstanding, was issued Monday. His $2,500 bond was forfeited, and a $5,000 cash-only bond was set. Chestnutt is scheduled for a bond forfeiture hearing Jan. 13.

Chestnutt, 18, was arrested along with Carl Lucious, 20, of Cape Girardeau. Two witnesses said they saw Lucious pointing a handgun from the window of a vehicle Chestnutt was driving on Bloomfield Street around 1 a.m. Sept. 12. The witnesses said Lucious also fired the handgun as the vehicle was driving away, but it is not known whether he was firing at anyone. Police said they found a handgun concealed in the glove box of the car Chestnutt was driving.

If convicted, Chestnutt could face a sentence of up to four years in prison and a $5,000 fine.

In August, the Missouri High School Activities Association granted Chestnutt an extra year of athletic eligibility. He led the Central High School boys basketball team in his first season, 2002-2003, and in 2003-2004 averaged 16.3 points in 17 games before being suspended from the team for violating the school's residency policy.

Following his arrest, Chestnutt was removed from his foster home in the Cape Girardeau area and sent to live in the St. Louis area, said Kevin Crane, the Boone County prosecuting attorney who was appointed special prosecutor in the case.

Ginger Fletcher, a spokesman for the Ferguson-Florissant School District, confirmed Friday that Chestnutt is registered as a student at McCluer North High School in that district. Fletcher said she was unaware whether Chestnutt was playing varsity basketball there, but cited state rules that say a transfer student has to live in the district a year before being eligible to participate in athletic activities.

Fletcher added that when McCluer administrators learned of the warrant against Chestnutt, they forwarded that information to local police.

Lucious' jury trial is scheduled for Jan. 28.

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