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Authorities arrest Idaho State assistant football coach on murder charge in Arizona

DaVonte' Neal, an assistant football coach at Idaho State University, was arrested and charged with first-degree murder in connection with a 2017 shooting death of an Arizona man. File Photo by Carl Ballou/Shutterstock
DaVonte' Neal, an assistant football coach at Idaho State University, was arrested and charged with first-degree murder in connection with a 2017 shooting death of an Arizona man. File Photo by Carl Ballou/Shutterstock

June 3 (UPI) -- DaVonte' Neal, an assistant football coach at Idaho State University, was arrested and charged with first-degree murder in connection with a 2017 shooting death of an Arizona man.

Idaho State officials, including head football coach Charlie Ragle expressed shock over the arrest and said they will cooperate with the investigation. University officials said Neal, who played under Ragle while a high school student, passed a background check, and they did not know about the alleged incident or the charges.

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"I have been in constant contact with (Ragle) who has known DaVonte' for many years and never had any knowledge or suspicion of a possible crime of any kind," Idaho State Athletic Director Pauline Thiros told the Idaho State Journal.

"The news of DaVonte' Neal's arrest and charges in Arizona was a great shock. Going forward, we will cooperate in every way possible, safeguard our program and culture, support each other and our students, and allow the legal process to work."

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Idaho State was Neal's first college coaching job after coaching in the high school ranks. A former player at Notre Dame and Arizona, Ragel hired him as an assistant coach in January.

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His arrest centers around the death of Bryan Burns, who was shot on Nov. 11, 2017, and died the next day. Neal is also charged with one count of drive-by shooting, a class two felony, and felony one count of discharging a firearm at a structure.

A Maricopa County grand jury indicted Neal on May 16. He was later arrested by the Bannock County authorities in Idaho. Neal is being held without bond and awaiting extradition back to Arizona.

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