Wednesday, April 29, 2009 | 3:58 p.m.
Former Bishop Gorman football standout Justin Chaisson is one step closer to pursuing his gridiron dreams at the University of Oklahoma.
Chaisson pleaded no contest Wednesday to one count of misdemeanor coercion and one count of misdemeanor domestic battery stemming from an alleged attack on his ex-girlfriend, during which Chaisson allegedly threatened to kill the young woman with a screwdriver after violently forcing her into his car.
Judge Melissa Saragosa of Las Vegas Justice Court Department 4 sentenced Chaisson to one year of domestic violence counseling.
Chaisson, who also faces three felony charges from the screwdriver incident, waived his right to a preliminary hearing Wednesday morning and will proceed straight to the Eighth Judicial District Court.
The 6-foot-5, 285-pound defensive end is expected to plead no contest to four separate gross misdemeanor charges when he appears in front of Judge Stefany Miley of Department 23 on May 6, according to Court public information officer Michael Sommermeyer.
If Judge Miley accepts Chaisson's misdemeanor pleas, then all of the felony charges will be dropped.
Although Okahoma officials have yet to comment on Chaisson's proceedings, head coach Bob Stoops last year allowed wide receiver Josh Jarboe to play for the Sooners after Jarboe pleaded felony gun charges down to misdemeanors. Jarboe was later released from the team for other off-field incidents.
Chaisson's hearing Wednesday was originally scheduled for 1:30 p.m. but Chaisson's lawyer, Michael Cristalli, managed to switch the proceeding's time without having the public docket schedule changed.
Cristalli did not immediately return phone calls.
Chaisson notched 148 tackles and 28 sacks in his final two seasons at Bishop Gorman – earning him the distinction of the 73rd best football player in the nation by Rivals.com. The strongside defensive end, who can bench press 395 pounds and squat 500 pounds, chose Oklahoma over Florida, UCLA, Arizona and Iowa.
Steve Silver can be reached at 948-7822 or firstname.lastname@example.org.