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Rodgers Is Convicted of Assault in San Diego

January 29, 1987

Former Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Rodgers was convicted in San Diego Wednesday of assault with a deadly weapon and being an ex-felon in possession of a firearm.

Rodgers was sent to county jail immediately by San Diego Superior Court Judge Jack Levitt, who set sentencing for Feb. 25. Deputy district attorney Stephen Anear said Rodgers could receive a maximum sentence of four years and eight months in state prison.

The jury, which deliberated one day, found Rodgers innocent of an additional charge of exhibiting a firearm in a threatening manner.

Rodgers acted as his own attorney in the trial. He had been accused of pointing a gun at a cable television technician who had come to his home in October, 1985, to disconnect his service for non-payment.

He was sentenced to five days in jail for contempt of court for comments he made during his final argument to the jury. He ignored Levitt's instruction to refrain from mentioning a pardon that Rodgers claimed he received on a 1971 grand larceny conviction.

Rodgers was convicted of a gas station robbery while he was a student at the University of Nebraska. He won the Heisman in 1972 and later played for the San Diego Chargers.

Rodgers was fined $500 on a second contempt charge after Levitt suspended a second five-day jail term and placed him on probation.

Levitt said Rodgers displayed "a very flippant, contemptuous attitude" in court.

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