A former college football player currently imprisoned on a drug conviction in Georgia has reached a plea agreement for a misdemeanor charge of violating North Carolina’s sports agent law.
Christopher Jamel Hawkins, 39, pleaded guilty Monday to attempted athlete-agent inducement via video conferencing, said Kimberly Overton Spahos, executive director of the North Carolina Conference of District Attorneys. In an email to The Associated Press, Spahos said Hawkins received a 30-day jail sentence running concurrently with his 20-year sentence in Georgia imposed in summer 2020.
Monday’s plea resolves the last pending case tied to the investigation launched by the North Carolina Secretary of State’s office in summer 2010 amid an NCAA probe into the UNC football program.
Hawkins – who played at UNC and Marshall from 2001-05 – faced four counts tied to providing cash to ex-Tar Heels football players Robert Quinn, Charles Brown and Kendric Burney in 2010. He was first charged in 2015 and his case went to trial in February 2020, but resulted in a mistrial after the jury couldn’t reach an unanimous verdict on any charge.
Violations of North Carolina’s Uniform Athlete Agents Act are low-level felonies. Spahos said the four original counts were dismissed for a single misdemeanor charge.
Attorney Natasha A. Adams, who represented Hawkins in the 2020 trial, didn’t immediately return an email Monday from the AP. Nor did Brad J. Evans, Hawkins' Georgia-based attorney in the drug case.
Six people were charged in the state's probe, the first five coming in September 2013. Other cases were resolved through either dismissals or deals with prosecutors before Hawkins' case became the lone one to reach trial.
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