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Prep Football Star Van Buren Receives Six-Month Jail Sentence After Shooting

The state’s leading high school pass receiver will spend the next six months in jail after being sentenced Thursday for shooting through a door at his girlfriend’s home last April.

Former Newbury Park football star Leodes Van Buren was also given five years’ probation for firing a handgun through the locked glass door while his girlfriend, Marcie James, stood only three feet away.

Acting Superior Court Judge Bruce A. Clark said the 19-year-old deserved a jail term because of his lack of public remorse and for coercing James, whom he married in July, to change her account of the shooting.

Van Buren, who broke all state receiving records last fall at Newbury Park High, had faced up to three years in state prison, but could have received a six-month suspended sentence. He had no previous felony record.

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Van Buren asked to begin serving his sentence immediately.

His attorney, John B. Miller Jr., said Van Buren lost his full scholarship to the University of Colorado after he was arrested.

Van Buren hopes to win another scholarship to a different school in the spring or next fall, Miller added.

In July, a Ventura County jury found Van Buren guilty of firing into an occupied dwelling. Attorneys said the key evidence included audiotapes of the football player and James, identifying Van Buren as the shooter.

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