Celtics to decide if Sullinger will be punished

Celtics to decide if Sullinger will be punished
October 28, 2013, 4:15 pm
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WALTHAM, Mass. — While Jared Sullinger's domestic violence court case has been dismissed, that doesn't necessarily mean he won't be punished.

Boston Celtics head coach Brad Stevens plans to sit down with President of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge to decide on what, if any, punishment will be doled out to Sullinger.

"The final verdict was right before we got to practice so we haven't had a chance to sit down," Stevens said.

When Sullinger was charged with assault and battery, witness intimidation and destruction of property valued at more than $250 (cell phone) in September, team officials said they would wait until a final verdict was reached to determine if there would be any punishment levied against the 6-foot-9 forward. 

That verdict came down Monday morning in Waltham District Court.

Sullinger's case was dismissed in large part because the alleged victim, Ms. Deann Smith, was not going to be supportive of the Commonwealth's case.

In the motion filed Monday by Sullinger's attorney Charles Rankin to have the case dismissed, it reads, "the alleged complainant, Deann Smith, acting through her own counsel (Melinda L. Thompson), has informed the Commonwealth that she will not appear, and that if she were forced to appear, she would invoke her Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination."

After the incident, Smith moved back to Ohio to be closer to her family.

Without Smith's cooperation, "we would not have sufficient evidence to proceed," said Middlesex Assistant District Attorney Sarah Ellis.

Sullinger may be out of the woods in the court of law, but there's still some mending needed within his basketball family.

"I made my thoughts known on it early," Stevens said. "It's a really tough situation, one in which we're all really disappointed when we heard of those allegations against him. We'll move forward appropriately." 

Part of that involves the 21-year-old Sullinger learning from this experience.

"The whole process has obviously been tough for him," said Stevens, who added that Sullinger was at practice on Monday. "But it's certainly . . . he continues to have to get better on the court while becoming the best person he can be as well. And really prioritizing, learning from what he's been through."