Former NFL player Titus Young sentenced to probation in battery case

Titus Young

Titus Young, who played for Boise State and later for the Detroit Lions, scores against Oregon State during a 2010 game.

(Chris Butler / MCT)

Former NFL player Titus Young was sentenced to five years probation Tuesday and ordered to spend a year at a mental health facility in Escondido for attacking his former attorney.

The case stemmed from an incident last July in Willowbrook where the former Detroit Lions receiver tackled the attorney, punched him in the face and broke his nose.

Young spent months in jail after the incident and was given credit for time served at Tuesday’s sentencing. Judge Michael J. Shultz ordered Young to spend a year at the Crosby Center in Escondido and gave him credit for the 99 days Young has been treated there already.

At Tuesday’s hearing in Compton, two of the center’s employees testified that Young had been diagnosed with mental health problems in the past.


Young suffers from a traumatic brain injury he suffered from a concussion and in the months around the attack, was “over-medicated” and “went wild,” testified Larry Burns, the center’s director.

Burns added that Young has been a “model” patient and is making progress.

Though Young was charged with multiple counts, he pleaded to felony battery as part of a plea agreement.

Young was a standout at Boise State University and was drafted by the Lions in 2011. He was released by the team in 2013 after experiencing behavioral problems and being placed on injured reserve with a bad knee.


Young’s attorney Martin Lijtmaer commended the judge in a statement after the sentencing.

“I know firsthand how hard Titus is working on his recovery and that he is making tremendous strides in his rehabilitation. Titus wants to be an inspiration to the legions of young men who have — and will surely continue — to battle concussion-related mental issues because of football,” Lijtmaer said.

“He is energized and excited by this second chance and he promises to embrace this opportunity to achieve a full recovery,” Lijtmaer continued. “On behalf of Titus and his family, I ask for privacy at this time so they can move on to the next phase of Titus’ recovery.” 

In May 2013, Young was arrested in Riverside County on suspicion of driving under the influence, then was arrested again about 14 hours later after he allegedly jumped a fence at a tow yard to retrieve his impounded Ford Mustang, county law enforcement authorities said at the time.

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