Football players plead not guilty

Timothy Magaw

Mixon, Lainhart still practicing with team despite facing criminal charges

Two Kent State football players have pleaded not guilty to aggravated burglary, among other charges, in the Portage County Court of Common Pleas. The charges stem from an Oct. 28 incident at a party in Brimfield where two doors were allegedly kicked in and a person inside was severely beaten.

Cabrani D. Mixon, 20, pleaded not guilty yesterday to aggravated burglary, two counts of assault and vandalism charges.

Brian Lainhart, 20, also pleaded not guilty to aggravated burglary and vandalism charges March 24.

Christen Haywood, 20, also pleaded not guilty March 10 to aggravated burglary, two counts of assaults and vandalism charges related to the incident. Haywood, a former Kent State student and football player, transferred from Kent State to Eastern Kentucky University in Richmond, Kentucky after the incident.

All three men are out on bail.

Brimfield Police Chief David Blough said during the party at the 4805 Sunnybrook Rd., a girlfriend of one the football players felt mistreated. One player left and a group of players returned to the party.

“The people on the inside of the residence had observed the players coming up the driveway and the people attending the party retreated into the house and locked the doors,” Blough said.

Blough said the doors were kicked in and one person was assaulted with extensive injuries. He couldn’t say what was the extent of the injuries except that the victim was knocked out and “pretty bloody.”

Director of Athletics Laing Kennedy said the players involved had been disciplined and suspended per the department’s guidelines after the incident last fall, and the situation is still under review as to whether any further action will be taken.

Kennedy said both Mixon and Lainhart are practicing with the team during its spring practices.

Police arrested Mixon and Lainhart Feb. 28. Eastern Kentucky University Police Department arrested Haywood, and he was transferred to the Brimfield Police Department March 5.

Mixon, a linebacker, sat out last season after transferring from the University of Michigan. Lainhart, a defensive back, played 10 games and recorded 63 tackles. While at Kent State, Haywood played in two games as a running back.

Contact public affairs reporter Timothy Magaw at [email protected].