BLACKSBURG — Virginia Tech safety Devon Hunter accepted a plea agreement Tuesday in Montgomery County Circuit Court.
Under the plea agreement, both of the charges he had been facing were amended to assault and battery misdemeanors. Hunter was facing charges of felony strangulation to cause wound or injury and misdemeanor assault against a family member.
He was sentenced to 24 months jail time, but the jail time was suspended to one day on each charge, and two years probation under New River Community Corrections. If he violates his probation or faces other charges during that time, that suspended sentence could be revoked.
“Those closest to me wished that I fought these allegations until I was vindicated,” Hunter wrote, in a statement posted to social media. “However, to no longer delay me completing college and continuing in the pursuit of my life’s dreams, I have accepted a plea. This was the most challenging decision of my life.”
“I humbly ask for the forgiveness of Virginia Tech, the athletics department, my team, and the fans. I regret any disappointment I may have caused you.”
The felony charge triggered an automatic suspension under Tech’s student-athlete code of conduct. A Tech spokesperson said Hunter remained indefinitely suspended as of Tuesday afternoon, and had no comment on the plea agreement.
Hunter said he was “praying” for a return to football in his statement.
Strangulation of another is a Class 6 felony in Virginia that’s punishable with one to five years in person or up to 12 months in jail and a $2,500 fine.
The female victim was never identified, and few details of the case were made public. Hunter offered a brief description of the incident from his perspective in court documents related to his bail determination.
“I was at a friends (sic) home, she was upset already, she came and I began banging on door, she went back to car, I went to see what’s up, and she became mad, hitting me, I tried to stop her, kicked me in groaning (sic), I tried to get her back into car, tried to pepper spray, and that when I walked away and she continued for 30 min to yell and scream why I did this to her.”
Hunter was one of the highest ranked in-state players in the 2017 class when he signed with the Hokies out of Indian River High School.
He played on special teams as a true freshman, and redshirted as a sophomore after multiple position changes. He was expected to start last fall at boundary safety after spending the 2019 season as Reggie Floyd’s understudy.