Idaho State University Assistant Football Coach DaVonte’ Neal Charged With First-Degree Murder In Connection With 2017 Slaying

College football sustained a black eye as Idaho State University football assistant coach DaVonte’ Neal was arrested on first-degree murder charges last month.

The arrest happened on May 25.

Neal was a defensive backs coach for Idaho State University. Authorities have accused him of killing Bryan Burns on Nov. 11, 2017, in Tempe, Arizona.

Local Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office deputies found Burns with a gunshot wound in Tempe, Arizona, near an overpass, according to ABC 15.

Burns was rushed to a hospital for life-threatening injuries but passed away the next day. Neal was believed to be the shooter and is being held responsible for the murder.

After detectives contacted the Pocatello police in Maricopa, they asked for Neal’s location and later arrested him on an extradition warrant. According to the Idaho State Journal, the police found where he was living and executed a plan to detain him and bring him before justice.

“Pocatello police learned Neal was living at an apartment on the 100 block of South Union Pacific Avenue and on May 25 waited there until he left the apartment and entered a vehicle, said police, adding that a traffic stop was conducted on the vehicle. Neal was subsequently arrested without further incident.”

Since his arrest, Idaho State University has put him on administrative leave, and he has been cooperating with the police. ISU has initiated proceedings to terminate his contract.

Neal no longer appears on the ISU coaching staff or roster if he were to be searched up. ISU is doing everything it can to sever ties with the former DBs coach immediately following his arrest.

In a written statement following Neal’s arrest, ISU President Kevin Satterlee explained how the arrest of Neal was not only shocking but very unexpected. He also noted that he has been in constant contact with the ISU head coach, who also had no idea of this arrest and Neal’s situation.

“I have been in constant contact with [ISU head coach Charlie] 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 told the Journal via text.

“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 resolution for all involved.”

Satterlee wrote, “Idaho State takes all allegations involving our employees very seriously, and we are committed to the safety and well-being of our community. We are fully cooperating with law enforcement on their investigation.”

While stating ISU’s background check policy, Satterlee indicated that they had previously conducted a background check on Neal and nothing came up.

“All Idaho State employees are required to undergo a criminal background check before employment,” ISU said in the release. “Neal’s background check was clear and he was approved for work when hired in January. The warrant for his arrest was issued in Arizona by the Maricopa County Court last month.”

Neal was hired as a DBs coach in January for the Idaho State University Bengals, along with the rest of the coaching staff. Neal previously played in Scottsdale, Arizona, at Chaparral High.

At Chaparral High he was a four-star athlete and transferred to the University of Arizona. From high school he went to Notre Dame as a wide receiver in 2012 before transferring to the following season to Arizona, where he switched positions to cornerback. Neal was an assistant at Higley High School in Gilbert, Arizona, before getting his first coaching gig at ISU as a DBs coach.

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