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When a University of Tennessee football player stood before the court bench Tuesday, all the Knox County judge saw was a thief.
“It appears there’s been no special consideration (afforded Nyshier Oliver),” General Sessions Court Judge Charles Cerny said Tuesday. “If you pick up new charges, there will be no special consideration as far as I’m concerned.”
Oliver, 18, pleaded guilty in Cerny’s court to shoplifting a brown polo shirt from Dillard’s in West Town Mall in November hours before a UT game. In a deal brokered by attorney Katherine Harp, who works for attorney Donald A. Bosch, Oliver received judicial diversion for his misdemeanor plea.
Cerny noted it is the same deal afforded all first-time shoplifters.
If Oliver stays out of trouble for one day short of a year, he can seek to have the case erased from his record.
Oliver is a redshirt freshman defensive back. After his arrest, then-coach Lane Kiffin opted to keep Oliver on the team roster, although he was not allowed to dress out during the Memphis game that followed the shoplifting arrest.
Security personnel nabbed Oliver as he tried to walk away from the store with the $110 polo shirt.
The teenager appeared nervous and a tad confused as he stood before Cerny.
“If you pick up new violations, how long will you serve in the county (jail)?” Cerny asked.
“I don’t know,” Oliver responded.
“Eleven months, 29 days,” Cerny said.
Most misdemeanors carry a maximum penalty of 11 months, 29 days in jail. Any crime netting a year or more in jail is a felony under Tennessee law.
Jamie Satterfield may be reached at 865-342-6308.