ISU football coach arrested in connection with 2017 Arizona murder
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POCATELLO — A football coach hired by Idaho State University in January has been arrested and is awaiting extradition to Arizona.
Officers with the Pocatello Police Department arrested DaVonte’ Marshone-Antonio Neal, 30, last week, according to a news release from the department.
Pocatello police were contacted by the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office, in Arizona, on May 25, requesting assistance serving a warrant.
Neal was wanted in connection to a 2017 first-degree murder, as well as charges for drive-by shooting and discharging a firearm at a structure, the release says.
Pocatello police contacted Neal on the 100 block of South Union Pacific Avenue. After confirming his identity, they transported Neal to Bannock County Jail, where he is being held without bond as he awaits extradition to Arizona.
ISU said in a news release that immediately after receiving notice of his arrest, Neal was placed on leave. The university has since begun proceedings to terminate Neal’s contract.
“Idaho State takes all allegations involving our employees very seriously, and we are committed to the safety and well-being of our community,” ISU President Kevin Satterlee says in the release. “We are fully cooperating with law enforcement on their investigation.”
Neal was hired in January, along with a largely new coaching staff, as a defensive backs coach.
Before his hire, Neal, like all other ISU employees, was subject to a criminal background check, the release says. He was cleared and approved for the position.
The arrest warrant was not issued until April, according to ISU.
“I have been in constant contact with Coach (Charlie) Ragle, who has known DaVonte’ for many years and never had any knowledge or suspicion of a possible crime of any kind,” ISU Athletics Director Pauline Thiros said in the release. “The news of DaVonte’ Neal’s arrest and charges in Arizona was a great shock. Going forward, we will cooperate in every way possible, safeguard our program and culture, support each other and our students, and allow the legal process to work. The news is devastating, and we hope for a resolution for all involved.”
Ragle issued a statement Thursday, saying that he has known Neal since Neal was 16, coaching the former wide receiver in high school and college. Ragle said that he believed coaching at ISU was an opportunity for Neal to grow, and better his career and life.
“The circumstances that have taken place in the last week are devastating to everybody involved,” Ragle said. “I understand that this is not a good look for our program, nobody understands that more than me.”
A clearly emotional Ragle said that the news personally hurt him and his family, as they have been around Neal for much of his life.
Ragle went on to apologize to all who have been effected by the crime and subsequent investigation.
“We’ll address the situation head-on, we’re not going to skirt any issues,” Ragle said.
ISU expects Neal’s contract termination proceedings to be “resolved quickly.” Until that time, however, Neal will remain on leave and is no longer part of the program.