COOK COUNTY CRIMINAL COURTHOUSE — After a judge on Friday acquitted David Terrell of the drug charges against him, the former Chicago Bears wide receiver was happy his name was cleared to "set the record straight."
"I'm no drug dealer," Terrell said when reached by phone following a bench trial at the Cook County Criminal Courthouse.
Terrell, the Bears' top pick in the 2001 draft, was hit with felony drug charges after being arrested in Bronzeville on August 19.
Police said Terrell was arrested when they responded to reports of three people smoking pot in an apartment building in the 3900 block of South Calumet Avenue. There they found Terrell, two other men and marijuana "in plain view," they alleged.
He was charged with manufacturing or delivering marijuana and battery to a police officer.
Stuart Goldberg, an attorney representing Terrell, argued that prosecutors had no evidence linking the former wide receiver to the drugs police recovered.
Terrell was found not guilty by Cook County Joseph Kazmierski in a bench trial Friday.
After the verdict, Terrell said he was simply visiting a man who lived at the building. He said he had hoped to hire the man as a security guard at one of the properties he is remodeling.
It just so happened that the man was in possession of some pot, Terrell said.
"I am from the projects," said Terrell, a University of Michigan graduate. "I was trying to give somebody from the neighborhood a job. You can get caught up trying to help people."
Terrell said he was especially relieved to be able to show his son that he's not mixed up in the drug scene.
"I am a single parent, and I try to be a good example," he said.
Terrell also took the opportunity to quash rumors that he's good buddies with another former Bears' receiver brought up on drug charges, Sam Hurd. Hurd, who was never teammates with Terrell, was sentenced last year in Texas to 15 years in prison for his involvement in a drug trafficking operation.
"While we're setting the record straight, I don't know Sam Hurd, never met him," Terrell said. "I do know Brian Urlacher. I don't know Sam Hurd."