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Ryan Leaf will face Texas charges Friday

6-18-09

DALLAS – Ryan Leaf's attorney says the former NFL quarterback is back in West Texas and plans to surrender Friday on burglary and drug-related charges.

Bill Kelly said he was in court all day Thursday and couldn't get Leaf processed to face one count of burglary and eight drug-related counts associated with the painkiller Hydrocodone.

Leaf was indicted in May in Canyon, Texas, where he coached quarterbacks at West Texas A&M. He was arrested Wednesday in Washington state while returning from Canada and told authorities he planned to fly to Texas that night after posting bond.

Leaf was the No. 2 pick out of Washington State University in 1998. He was released by San Diego after three rough seasons and played part of one year with the Dallas Cowboys.

Randall County District Attorney James Farren said Leaf wasn't violating any deadlines by not surrendering Thursday. He said the only difference between Leaf and hundreds of others with outstanding arrest warrants in the county is that Kelly contacted Farren's office soon after the indictment to say Leaf would turn himself in.

"All this deadline stuff are deadlines he created, not me," Farren said. "The only reason it's of any importance to me is if he wants to come turn himself in, it saves taxpayers in Randall County the money it would cost to come get him. But if you're going to do it, then just come do it."

Kelly said Leaf wouldn't spend any time in jail when he is processed Friday. The attorney said he planned to talk to Farren about a plea deal and was confident Leaf could get probation. Farren said Leaf has no criminal record.

Leaf spent three seasons at West Texas A&M, where he was also the golf coach, before resigning in November amid a drug investigation. He was indicted on one count of burglary to a habitation, a second-degree felony, seven counts of obtaining a controlled substance by fraud and one count of delivery of a simulated controlled substance. Authorities allege he broke into the apartment of an injured player and took Hydrocodone.

In his four-year NFL career, Leaf had 14 touchdowns and 36 interceptions. He was better known for outbursts directed at team executives, fans and reporters.

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