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Former ISU assistant football coach charged with murder

POCATELLO, Idaho, Idaho (KIFI) – Idaho State University assistant football coach DaVonte’ Neal was arrested last week in Bannock County for an outstanding warrant in Arizona.

On May 25, the Pocatello Police Department was contacted by Maricopa County, Arizona detectives requesting assistance with the service of a warrant that had been issued May 16. The alleged incident occurred in Arizona in 2017. The warrant was for 1st degree murder, drive-by shooting and discharge of a firearm at a structure and was for Davonte Neal. At that time, Pocatello Police Department officers contacted Davonte Neal in the 100 block of South Union Pacific Avenue. Upon confirming his identity and the warrant, Neal was placed under arrest for fugitive from Justice and transported to the Bannock County Jail where he was incarcerated. 

Immediately after receiving notice of Neal’s arrest by law enforcement last week, ISU placed him on leave and served a Notice of Contemplated Action, which is formal notice the university has initiated proceedings to terminate his employment contract. Neal will remain on leave until the process is fully complete, but he is no longer a part of ISU’s football program. It is anticipated the contract termination proceedings will be resolved quickly.

All Idaho State employees are required to undergo a criminal background check before employment. 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.

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

Neal joined Idaho State’s football coaching staff earlier this year to oversee the cornerbacks. Prior to coming to Pocatello, Neal spent time coaching at the high school and junior college level.

“I have been in constant contact with Coach Ragle, who has known DaVonte’ for many years and never had any knowledge or suspicion of a possible crime of any kind,” ISU athletic director Pauline Thiros said. “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 a resolution for all involved.”

Neal is awaiting extradition to Maricopa County Arizona.

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Cole Sams

Cole is a reporter for Local News 8 and KIDK Eyewitness News 3.

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