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Zay Jackson denies plea deal

Men’s basketball guard Zaveral “Zay” Jackson will appear before a grand jury after withdrawing his guilty plea in a status hearing earlier today.

Jackson pleaded guilty to two counts of second-degree assault after allegedly striking civilians with his car in the Murray Walmart parking lot on September 10.

Jackson was offered one year in jail with possible shock probation when Judge Craig Clymer took over his case. At the hearing, Jackson rejected the agreement and decided to start the trial from the beginning without a plea.

“Now (Jackson) is basically stepping back and saying, ‘I want to withdraw my plea and in essence, I’m no longer accepting responsibility for what happened,’” Clymer said in open court.

Clymer said Jackson was willing to plead guilty when the consequences were much lower with Judge Dennis Foust’s diversion program. Defense attorney Gary Haverstock said Jackson is not denying any responsibility for his actions, but he has the right to a trial before a grand jury.

The original diversion program from Foust gave Jackson 30 days in jail to be served on the weekends, along with several other behavioral programs. Foust left the trial after his ties to Murray State were allegedly questioned.

Arraignment will be held to inform Jackson of the charges which have been brought against him on Dec. 11.

Story by Lexy Gross, staff writer.