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NEWBURY PARK | EAST VENTURA COUNTY FOCUS

Ex-Star Athlete Admits Breach of Probation

May 30, 1996|PAUL ELIAS

A former Newbury Park football star who lost a college scholarship after a court conviction admitted Wednesday that he violated terms of his probation when he threatened to kill himself and his infant son during a two-hour standoff with sheriff's deputies earlier this month.

Leodes Van Buren, 20, could face a prison term when he is sentenced next month, but will probably end up with a shorter stint in Ventura County Jail, said Deputy Dist. Atty. James Grunert.

It is the second time this year that Van Buren has admitted violating terms of his probation.

He had earlier tested positive for drug use and was sentenced in March to 15 days in jail for the offense.

Van Buren was initially sentenced to 180 days in jail in 1994 and placed on probation after a jury convicted him of firing a handgun into the home of his girlfriend at the time.

After the jury's decision, the University of Colorado rescinded its football scholarship offer to Van Buren, who broke state receiving records during his high school career.

On May 5, Van Buren held police at bay with a knife for two hours after an argument with his 17-year-old girlfriend and the mother of 3-month-old Leodes Van Buren Jr. The couple were reportedly arguing over custody of the child because the two intended to break up, family members said. The infant was not hurt during the incident.

Van Buren led the 1993 Newbury Park High School team to an undefeated season that culminated with the Southern Section's Division III championship. He caught 101 passes and scored 20 touchdowns that year, capturing the attention of big-time colleges.

Even after his arrest, a few colleges still expressed an interest with Van Buren until his latest run-ins with the law.

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