Mark Barron Arrested in Mobile (Updated)

Elite recruit. All-American safety. National champion. Future NFL player. And not a snitch.

As Todd mentioned earlier in his fanshot, some bad news for 'Bama this morning as Mark Barron has apparently been arrested in his hometown of Mobile. Per Izzy Gould:

Alabama senior safety Mark Barron was arrested in Mobile for hindering prosecution, a second degree misdemeanor charge, according to the Mobile County Sheriff's Office website

Barron was booked and his bond listed at $500.

We don't have enough details at this point to provide very meaningful commentary, but we'll update further as more becomes known, and for now just note that the good news is that this is a relatively minor offense. Hindering prosecution is a Class A misdemeanor in the state of Alabama -- the most serious class of misdemeanors, to be sure -- and the maximum punishment is up to one year in jail or a fine of $2,000. Fortunately, Barron is presumably a first-time offender, so I wouldn't think this would involve any jail time, and I'd venture to say that realistically he is probably looking at being punished with a small fine and probation. Thankfully, a replay of Jimmy Johns and Jeremy Elder this is not.

Regardless, this isn't the type of news that you want to hear on the eve of spring practice. It's inevitably going to be somewhat of a distraction as team drills start tomorrow, and while Barron likely won't be in any serious trouble with the authorities, rest assured that if he is found guilty he will receive some sort of punishment from Nick Saban, and that could include serving a suspension early in the 2011 season.

UPDATE: Well, never let it be said that Mark Barron is a snitch. Details of the incident from WKRG out of Mobile:

Police tell News 5 Barron lied to police in an attempt to cover for his cousin who left the scene of an accident.

Someone called 911 about 5:00 a.m. to report an abandoned vehicle on I-10 at Michigan Avenue. When the officer arrived, Barron was with the 2008 Chrysler 300, which had hit the retaining wall. Barron told police a man he only knew as "Bull" had taken his car from Shotgun Willies, a night club in the 4100 block of Government Blvd. But during the investigation, police learned Barron's cousin, Jamal Lang, was actually driving the car at the time of the crash. Lang will be issued a citation for leaving the scene of an accident.

Police say after they learned about Lang's involvement, they gave Barron every opportunity to change his story. The arresting officer says he begged Barron to tell the truth, showed him the law about hindering prosecution and explained he would have to arrest him if Barron continued to cover for his cousin. Police say they even got Barron's mother and grandmother to try and convince him. But Barron refused to admit his cousin was driving the car.

Not exactly the best idea, eh? The facts involved could have been much worse, I suppose, but this certainly was not a case of a cop abusing his authority, and I imagine you can expect to see Barron get some form of punishment from Nick Saban if all of this is true. I would imagine he will be in the starting lineup against Penn State, but we may see someone else in his place in the season opener against Kent State.
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