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FCS assistant coach charged with first-degree murder

Davonte' Neal, recently hired at Idaho State, has been charged with murder stemming from a 2017 incident in Arizona.

Davonte’ Neal, a former nationally coveted football prospect whose career took twists and turns at first Notre Dame and then his native Arizona, has been charged with murder.

The murder charge is the result of an investigation of a cold case nearly five years old.

In fact, per multiple published reports, Neal has been charged for a murder stemming from a November 2017 incident.

Most recently Neal had been hired to Idaho State's coaching staff and his university background check rendered no red flags, per the school's statement. Neal entered into private sector work in between his playing and coaching careers. 

"All Idaho State employees are required to undergo a criminal background check before employment," ISU said in a news release Thursday. "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."

“The news of Davonte' Neal’s arrest and charges in Arizona was a great shock,” ISU AD Pauline Theros said in a text message to the Idaho State Journal. “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."

Neal has been charged with multiple felonies, including first-degree murder for an incident in Maricopa County, Ariz. Neal was arrested in Pocatello, Idaho, where he had located to serve as part of Idaho State’s staff.

“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," ISU president Kevin Satterlee said.