A former Kansas University football defensive lineman convicted of holding four students at gunpoint last May was sentenced Friday to serve 60 days in jail and three years on probation.
Douglas County District Judge Paula Martin warned Jamal Greene Jr., 23, if he fails to comply with his probation terms after getting out of jail he could spend nearly four years in prison.
Greene pleaded guilty on Feb. 3 to aggravated burglary and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. Greene admitted to entering a unit early in the morning on May 14, 2010, at Tuckaway Apartments, 2600 W. Sixth St., as part of an attempted robbery.
Martin sentenced Greene to the same punishment she had given a month ago to co-defendant Vernon Brooks, another former KU football player, who had pleaded no contest to the same charges.
“I don’t think anyone can imagine the terror that those people felt when you and Mr. Brooks entered the apartment and when a gun was held to one of their heads, and that terror was purely inflicted by you,” Martin told Greene Friday.
Martin said she was trying to strike a balance in the case because Greene had “done everything right” since he was arrested after the incident. He was kicked off the KU team the afternoon after the incident, and Brooks had already be dismissed from the team prior to the incident.
“I do find that community safety is not endangered by you remaining in the community,” Martin said. “You do have support. There’s a plan in place for offender reformation.”
The four students testified at an October hearing that two men wearing black ski masks at 1:30 a.m. entered the apartment armed with handguns and forced them to the ground.
Prosecutors and police said Greene and Brooks came into the apartment because they thought they could steal drugs and money from a back bedroom. Greene’s gun was not loaded.
Deborah Moody, an assistant district attorney, asked for Martin to sentence Greene to prison, but Moody said if Martin granted him probation she asked for the 60 days in jail.
Greene is now a student at MidAmerica Nazarene University in Olathe, where he played football last season, and defense attorney Joshua Allen had asked Martin to spare Greene from jail time so he could finish the semester and because he has been invited to a workout with the Kansas City Chiefs on April 12.
Allen said Greene, originally from Kansas City, Kan., was remorseful for his actions and that the incident was “out of character” for Greene. He also said Greene wanted to be able to provide for his two children.
“He has recognized that his decision-making process on that day was extremely poor, and he’s taken steps to address the issues that were the cause of the poor decision-making,” Allen said. “He feels horrible for what he did to those people.”
Greene and family members asked Martin for leniency, and Greene said he planned to seek treatment for anger management and alcohol abuse.
Martin still ordered Greene be taken into custody at the jail after the hearing but said she would take under advisement any requests for him to be released for work.
Other conditions include registering as a violent offender, abiding by any treatment recommendations and paying costs in the case.