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Former UND football player accused of dealing marijuana given deferred sentence

Andre Randolph, left, and Demon Taylor

A former UND football player accused of dealing marijuana will avoid jail time if he completes the terms of his probation, despite arguments by the state that he should serve two months in jail.

Demon Oshea Taylor was given a deferred sentence Monday in Grand Forks District Court after pleading guilty to possessing marijuana with intent to deliver, a Class B felony, and possession of drug paraphernalia, a Class A misdemeanor. He potentially could have been sentenced to almost 11 years in prison, but Judge Jason McCarthy gave the former Fighting Hawks offensive lineman a deferred sentence that will last through Sept. 5, 2019.

Taylor also was ordered to pay $775 in court fees.

If he does not commit any crimes during that time and he pays his fees, the case will be dismissed and expunged from his record.

Taylor and his former teammate, Andre Randolph, were arrested last fall after police said they found a jar of marijuana, numerous baggies with marijuana residue and a digital scale in Taylor's room. In Randolph's room, police said they found a pill bottle with marijuana, a large mason jar with marijuana residue, a package from Las Vegas and a digital scale with marijuana residue, according to court documents.

Randolph was a safety for UND's football team when he was charged with a Class B felony charge of possess marijuana with intent to deliver and a Class B misdemeanor of possessing drug paraphernalia. Pursuant to a plea agreement he signed, he was instead sentenced on two Class B misdemeanors: possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia. He was ordered to do 100 hours of community service in lieu of a 10-day jail sentence.

The prosecution objected to the deferred sentence, said Carmell Mattison, a Grand Forks County assistant state's attorney who prosecuted the case. She argued for 12 months in jail with 10 months suspended for two years.

Both Taylor and Randolph were removed from the football team in October, according to the university.

April Baumgarten

April Baumgarten joined the Grand Forks Herald May 19, 2015, and covers crime and education. She grew up on a ranch 10 miles southeast of Belfield, where her family raises registered Hereford cattle. She double majored in communications and history/political science at Jamestown (N.D.) College, now known as University of Jamestown. During her time at the college, she worked as a reporter and editor-in-chief for the university's newspaper, The Collegian. Baumgarten previously worked for The Dickinson Press as a city government and energy reporter in 2011 before becoming the editor of the Hazen Star and Center Republican. She then returned to The Press as a news editor, where she helped lead an award-winning newsroom in recording the historical oil boom.

Have a story idea? Contact Baumgarten at 701-780-1248.

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