CHRISTIANSBURG — Suspended Virginia Tech men’s basketball standout Tyrece Radford was found guilty Wednesday in Montgomery County General District Court of first-offense driving under the influence.
Radford also pleaded no contest Wednesday to carrying a concealed weapon. Judge Randal Duncan took that case under advisement for a year and could dismiss that charge at the end of that period.
“You have too much going for you,” Duncan told Radford in the disposition hearing. “Do better.”
Radford was indefinitely suspended from the nationally ranked Hokies on Jan. 25 after being arrested by Blacksburg police a day earlier. He was charged with one misdemeanor count of first-offense driving while intoxicated and one misdemeanor count of carrying a concealed weapon.
Radford and his attorney, Jimmy Turk, reached a plea agreement on the DUI charge with the Montgomery County Commonwealth’s Attorney’s office.
Under the plea agreement, Radford pleaded not guilty to driving under the influence with the stipulation that he be found guilty. Turk said after the hearing that by making that plea instead of pleading guilty, Radford avoided having to answer questions from the judge about the DUI incident.
Duncan sentenced Radford to a 60-day suspended jail sentence and a $1,000 fine, with $750 of that suspended.
Radford, who has a Louisiana driver’s license, also had his driving privileges in Virginia revoked for 12 months — unless he gets a Virginia driver’s license, in which case his license will be restricted and he must have the ignition interlock device in his car.
Radford was also placed on probation for 12 months.
Radford, 21, was pulled over by Blacksburg police at 1:16 a.m. Jan. 24.
Montgomery County Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Chris Obenshain said in court that when the police officer asked Radford whether he had been drinking, Radford answered that he had “too much to drink.” Radford told the officer he had been at the Top of the Stairs bar and restaurant in Blacksburg.
According to Obenshain, Radford told the officer that he had a Glock handgun in the pocket of his shorts, which he had been wearing under his pants.
Obenshain said the Glock 43 9 mm handgun was unloaded.
According to Obenshain, Radford told the officer that he had a certificate for a firearms safety course and believed that was all he needed.
Radford testified that the certificate was in his car’s glove box that night, and that he did not own any ammunition at that time. He testified that he only found out after his arrest that he needed to apply for a permit to carry a concealed weapon.
Radford was unable to perform field tests properly, according to the criminal complaint written by the officer who stopped him, and was placed under arrest for driving under the influence.
He was given a breath test at the Blacksburg Police Department. His blood alcohol level was 0.13%, according to the criminal complaint.
Turk asked Duncan on Wednesday to take the weapon charge under advisement so it could be dismissed in a year if Radford had no further issues.
Obenshain told Duncan that it was Radford’s responsibility to know what the law is and what is required to be able to carry a concealed weapon.
In agreeing to take the weapon case under advisement, Duncan took note of the fact that Radford thought he had done everything he needed to by taking the gun safety course.
Duncan also took note of Radford’s candor with the officer when he was stopped. Duncan also noted that the weapon was unloaded and that there was no ammunition in the chamber or magazine of the gun.
The commonwealth attorney’s office did not ask for a conviction on the weapon charge.
The DUI conviction prevents Radford from having a permit to carry a concealed weapon for three years.
When Obenshain brought up the possibility of Radford forfeiting his gun, the judge determined that Radford is not prohibited from owning a gun because he was not convicted on the gun charge. But Radford agreed to have the commonwealth keep his handgun for the next 12 months.
Radford, who wore a winter jacket with a Virginia Tech logo on it while in court Wednesday, declined to stop for an interview as he left the courthouse.
Radford, a third-year sophomore, was the Hokies’ second-leading scorer and second-leading rebounder at the time of his suspension.
Tech coach Mike Young was asked Monday on the ACC coaches’ weekly video conference if there was a path for Radford to rejoin the team this season or next.
“Yes. There is a path. I’m not sure when,” Young said Monday.