Press reports Cole Ford plead guilty to shooting at Siegfried & Roy's
Mr. Ford is a former kicker for the NFL Oakland Raiders who
had fallen into difficult struggles with mental illness and homelessness.
Groomed and polite, a former NFL
kicker who has been hospitalized for mental illness pleaded guilty Thursday to
shooting at the home of entertainers Siegfried Fischbacher and Roy Horn in
Cole Ford, who last kicked for the
Oakland Raiders in 1997, agreed to a felony plea that could result in a
suspended sentence of one to six years in a Nevada
prison if he continues mental health treatment at a center near his family's
home in Tucson, Ariz.
"We've come a long way with
Mr. Ford, and he's doing terrific," Clark County District Judge Jackie
Glass said as she addressed Ford's mother, Amy Ford, in the courtroom gallery.
The judge, who last year sent Ford to a state mental health facility in Sparks, also signed an
order allowing a mother-son jail visit.
Outside court, Amy Ford, who turns
61 on Monday, said she didn't exchange words in the courtroom with her son,
whom she said she had not seen since 1999.
"But with his eyes, he said,
'Hi mom,'" she said. "This is a nice Mother's Day and nice birthday
You may remember our articles from last year chronicling Mr.
Ford's trouble with the law following his arrest for the shooting.
The Las Vegas
court refused his previous attempts to enter a plea in the case. The court ruled Mr. Ford was incompetent for
trial and could not, therefore, enter a plea of guilty. The charges would have subjected Mr. Ford to upwards
of 27 years in prison.
Under the plea agreement, Mr. Ford must pay restitution and
have no contact with the magic duo.
Mr. Ford pleaded guilty to one charge of shooting at a
structure. Several felony charges, including assault with a deadly weapon, were
dismissed. Judge Glass set sentencing for June 29, but said he could be
transferred to Tucson
sooner, if a suitable treatment center was found.
Court appointed psychiatrists found Mr. Ford suffered from a
psychotic disorder. Mr. Ford wanted to
stop the illusionists from their "dominance and unhealthy intimacy"
with their animals.
"He felt they threatened (the) world, and he began
trying to figure out how he could stop them," Dr. Norton Roitman said.
Siegfried & Roy's representative told the paper the
entertainers were aware of the agreement, but had no comment.