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Sean Sutton pleads guilty to drug charges

By John Helsley, Staff Writer, Modified: August 13, 2010 at 10:00 pm •  Published: August 13, 2010

STILLWATER – Sean Sutton pushed away from his past, one that turned dark and troubling with his Feb. 11 arrest, embracing the future Friday.“I am now at peace with my past,” Sutton said in addressing the media for the first time since his arrest, “and I am committed to live in the present and look forward to building a bright future with my wonderful family and many wonderful friends.”And Sutton can now freely focus on that future, after associate district judge Stephen Kistler accepted a plea agreement that resulted in the former Oklahoma State basketball coach receiving no jail time on four charges related to unlawfully obtaining and possessing prescription drugs for non-medical use.Instead, Sutton, who pleaded guilty to all four charges, received three years probation on deferred sentencing and was ordered to provide 100 hours of community service and pay $2,500 in fines, per agreement between the Payne County district attorney's office and Sutton and his attorney, Trace Morgan.Such agreements are common in cases where the defendant has no previous record and the crime is essentially self-inflicted.Sutton also recently completed a treatment program, spending 115 days at a facility in Sundance, Utah.“On a case where you're not dealing drugs or manufacturing drugs, but simply an addict and using drugs and don't have a record, this is a pretty typical recommendation, giving him a chance to succeed,” said district attorney Robert L.
Hudson.“I'm certainly for sending dealers and manufacturers to prison and we do quite often. But for someone who their real crime is being an addict, we try to give them an opportunity to rehabilitate.”A longtime assistant to his legendary coaching father, Eddie Sutton, Sean Sutton took over the OSU program in 2006 after previously being designated the school's coach-in-waiting.The Cowboys went just 39-29 under Sean Sutton's guidance, failing to make the NCAA Tournament in either of his two seasons. He resigned under pressure in 2008. Nearly two years later, he was arrested.Sutton had previously been prescribed pain medication for lower back pain and migraine headaches.“At some point in the last year and a half, I crossed the line and became dependent on them,” Sutton said.“Addiction is a horrible thing. It's powerful. It gets ahold of you. And you feel like there's no way out.”In addressing the media, Sutton spoke of his rehab, answered questions and accepted “full responsibility” for his problems. He also issued apologies in many directions.“My irresponsible action caused a lot of pain for a number of people,” Sutton said. “It is only by the grace of God and the unwavering love of my wife, sons, parents, brothers and many other family members and friends across the country that I can stand before you today at peace with the past and looking forward to the future.”
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