Did Cal Poly’s coach help police arrest his star player?
August 14, 2015
Cal Poly head football coach Tim Walsh became a “state actor” and actively helped San Luis Obispo police arrest his star running back, according to a motion filed in the court case over an attempted robbery of a university fraternity house. [Tribune]
Kristaan Ivory, 22, the former most valuable player of the Cal Poly football team, is facing a single charge of felony conspiracy for an Aug. 2014 incident in which he and four teammates were arrested for attempting to rob the Delta Sigma Phi fraternity house. One of the suspects allegedly carried a gun onto the property and engaged in a physical struggle with both fraternity members and police.
On Wednesday, Los Angeles attorney Aaron May, who is representing Ivory, field a motion arguing his client’s statements to investigators prior to his arrest should not be admissible in court. The motion argues Ivory’s statements to police detectives were not voluntary. Rather, Walsh coerced Ivory into talking to the detectives.
The struggle at the fraternity house occurred early in the morning of Aug. 10, 2014. Later that morning, Ivory arrived at the Cal Poly football facility for a mandatory meeting.
When he arrived, Ivory was told to go to Walsh’s office. There, he found Walsh speaking with two detectives, according to May’s motion.
Ivory asked about getting an attorney prior to speaking with police, but Walsh used undue influence to to coerce him into speaking without legal representation, the motion states. Walsh told Ivory to “tell them what happened” and “to be truthful.”
Ivory had no choice but to comply because his scholarship was on the line, the motion alleges. Walsh controlled almost all aspects of Ivory’s life, including his education, housing and future career, the motion states.
Walsh allegedly sent eight of his players for interviews with detectives. At that point, police had already arrested two of the five players who were charged in the case.
May’s motion states the detectives made a tactical move to use Walsh to apprehend Ivory and two other of the suspects.
Earlier this year, Cortland Fort, 21, who allegedly drove the other suspects to the fraternity house, pleaded guilty to a single felony charge of conspiracy to commit grand theft. Fort avoided jail time, but received three years of formal probation and 1,000 hours of community service.
The remaining four defendants still face felony charges. Investigators say the defendants went to the fraternity house seeking drugs or money.
A month after the incident, police arrested Gear McMillan, the former president of Delta Sigma Phi. Earlier this year, McMillan pleaded no contest to possession of marijuana for sale.