HOUSTON (AP) — Minnesota Vikings star Adrian Peterson should be arrested anew after admitting during his court appearance on a child abuse charge that he had “smoked a little weed” while out on bond, Texas prosecutors said Thursday.
In a court motion, the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office said Peterson allegedly told a worker conducting his urinalysis exam during a Wednesday court appearance that he had smoked marijuana. Bond terms typically include not taking any illegal drugs.
“In light of this statement, and the fact that it was made during the urinalysis testing process, and the term `weed’ is a common slang term for marijuana, the state argues that the defendant has smoked marijuana while on bond,” the district attorney’s office wrote.
Peterson is currently free on a $15,000 bond after he was indicted last month on a felony charge of injury to a child for using a wooden switch to discipline his 4-year-old son earlier this year in suburban Houston. Peterson has said he never intended to harm his son and was only disciplining him in the same way he had been as a child growing up in East Texas. He faces up to two years in prison and a $10,000 fine if convicted.
Peterson is on paid leave from the Vikings under a special exemption from the NFL commissioner until the legal case is resolved. Vikings coach Mike Zimmer said he had no comment when asked about it after Thursday’s practice.
It was not clear whether any immediate action would be taken on the motion as prosecutors have filed a separate motion asking that state District Judge Kelly Case – who is presiding over Peterson’s case – be removed because of alleged bias for calling attorneys in the case “media whores.” The motion to remove Case is pending before Judge Olen Underwood.
Rebecca Brite, a spokeswoman for Underwood, said any motions or matters pending before Case with regard to Peterson are on hold until the recusal motion is resolved. She said a hearing on whether to remove Case has not yet been scheduled.
Phil Grant, the first assistant district attorney for Montgomery County, did not immediately return a call seeking comment. Mary Flood, a spokeswoman for Rusty Hardin, Peterson’s attorney, did not have any immediate comment on the prosecutors’ motion.
During Peterson’s first court appearance, Case had set a tentative trial date of Dec. 1. But he added that might not hold if he is removed from the case.
Peterson did not enter a plea during the hearing, but Hardin has said his client intends to plead not guilty.