As you have heard, six Kentucky football players have been charged with first-degree burglary that comes from an incident at an off-campus fraternity party back in March. Vito Tisdale was also charged with wanton endangerment for allegedly having a gun as well.
Former Louisville Police Homicide Sergeant and Kentucky State Legislator Denny Butler made an appearance on Kentucky Sports Radio on Tuesday morning to discuss new details about the case following meetings with the six players and their families.
The first new details that he presented was the fact that Tisdale passed a polygraph test on Saturday stating that he did not have a gun at the party.
“I was called in to help over concern for one of the players, Mr. Tisdale, and the allegation of him having a gun,” Butler said. “The coach that called me felt like he was telling the truth, and they didn’t know where to turn. They just saw that the stories weren’t adding up and when he called me, I asked if he would be willing to talk to me, and we went and had a conversation and I too felt like Mr. Tisdale was telling the truth, so he agreed to take a polygraph on Saturday and took one from a retired FBI agent. He passed the polygraph confirming he did not have a gun.”
After speaking with the players and seeing how the story was being portrayed in the media, Butler wanted to help.
“I think that plays a role in it,” Butler said of the gun allegation. “Obviously, one of the main elements of burglary first is being armed with a deadly weapon. Then watching media reports where they referred to this as a home invasion, and they refer to it as a drive-by. It started bothering me and when I talked to Mr. Tisdale, I had the same gut instinct that he was telling the truth. We had to figure out how to get out in front of this and show that he is telling the truth. He agreed to take a polygraph. He took one and he passed it.”
During Butler’s appearance on Kentucky Sports Radio, he added that Tisdale and at least two other players did not have attorneys. In order to try and help them, he has set up a GoFundMe page to hire representation for the players that cant afford it.
The page is called “Defense fund for 6 innocent UofK football players” and it went live Tuesday morning. The goal is to raise $250,000 for the attorney fees and any remaining money will be donated to the 22 Oats Strong campaign for Chris Oats’ rehabilitation.
The altercation that broke out at that party has been speculated to have started because of racial slurs. Following discussions with the players, Butler believes this to be true.
On the GoFuneMe page, Butler has included a detailed description on the events that happened on March 6th.
Two UK freshman football players were invited to the party and decided to attend
Shortly after arriving, an intoxicated female in the house stated ” who let the n*****s in”
One player was confronted inside by an intoxicated male trying to smooth things over
Both players could hear racial slurs like “Get out n****r” and threats like “Let’s beat their a**” from other rooms in the house. The threats and slurs became louder and more intense.
Concerned for their safety, a player summoned help from other freshman football players and an altercation ensued on the property. A few party attendees suffered minor injuries.
Lexington Police were notified, and a report taken
One of the players charged in this case is defensive back Andru Phillips. On Tuesday Phillips’ father, Carlos Phillips, tweeted a letter from the UK Office of Student Conduct from April 23 clearing his son of any wrongdoing. After an investigation by the university, UK Office of Student Conduct Assistant Director Libby Hogan found him not responsible.
“Andru Phillips has been found not responsible for violating Code of Student Conduct policy L. Harm and Threat of Harm. The incident report states that a physical fight occurred at an off-campus house affiliated with a fraternity. Through an investigation, Phillips was identified as participating in the altercation. Phillips stated that he was at the house where the altercation happened but arrived as it was ending. Phillips reports that he only went a few feet into the house to check on everyone before stepping back outside and leaving. Phillips stated that he did not hit anyone and that he was not hit by anyone. Witnesses confirm that Phillips was present at the gathering and that he entered the house. The witnesses also confirm that Phillips did not have a weapon and that they didn’t see him engaged in fighting. As a result, AD Hogan found Phillips not responsible.”
Last Wednesday, all six players pleaded not guilty to the charges and waived their right to a preliminary hearing. The case will now go to a grand jury.
We will keep you updated as new details emerge from this case.