Former Notre Dame coach Haywood to enter diversion program

February 13, 2011|By JEFF PARROTT, Tribune Staff Writer

Former Notre Dame football offensive coordinator Mike Haywood, charged with battering his son's mother, will have the charge dismissed in a year if he follows terms of a pre-trial diversion agreement.

Police said Haywood, 46, and the 38-year-old woman had been arguing over custody of their 21-month-old son Dec. 31 at Haywood's Clay Township home.

At a court hearing Friday, Haywood admitted that he grabbed the woman during the argument, and that she was hurt as she fell down while trying to get away from him.

St. Joseph County prosecutor Michael Dvorak said his office consulted with the victim and she preferred the pre-trial diversion agreement over taking the case to trial.

She has previously said in court that although she called 911, she never wanted Haywood arrested or prosecuted.

Prosecutors had initially charged him with a Class D felony domestic violence battery. The charge had been elevated to a felony because the crime allegedly occurred in the presence of a minor.

As part of the agreement, the state added a second count of misdemeanor domestic violence battery, making the case eligible for the pre-trial diversion program.

The agreement requires Haywood to undergo an evaluation that will determine if he needs counseling, and to perform 60 hours of community service by February 2012, Dvorak said.

Superior Judge Jane Woodward Miller told Haywood that if he fails to follow terms of the agreement, his admission of what happened could be used against him and the battery charges reinstated.

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