Looking and sounding confused about the reasons he was there, ex-Dallas Cowboy running back Joseph Randle appeared in a Sedgwick County courtroom on Wednesday – this time to learn he had been charged with an assault against a fellow inmate.
The criminal case is the fifth that Randle, a Wichita native and Southeast High School graduate, has pending against him in Sedgwick County District Court.
Prosecutors charged with him Wednesday with one count of aggravated battery — a felony — and one count of disorderly conduct in connection with a confrontation that took place Friday morning in Pod 6 of the Sedgwick County Jail, according to court and sheriff’s office records.
Randle, 25, has been incarcerated since June 19.
The victim in the battery case is 32-year-old Derrick D. Cottner, District Judge Jeff Goering told Randle, who appeared via a video link that broadcasts from a room in the jail into the courtroom.
“The state is charging me for running from somebody?” Randle asked after Goering announced the charges and that the case carried a $7,500 bond.
“The state is charging you with aggravated battery and disorderly conduct,” Goering said.
“For getting punched in the face,” Randle said, his voice trailing off.
“I don’t know what the facts of the case are, sir,” Goering replied. “I’m just here to tell you what you’re being charged with, what your court date is and what your bond is.”
Later, Randle told the judge that the other inmate involved in the alleged assault “seemed frustrated” that a court hearing had been moved to a different date, and “he punched me in the face. I defended myself. I ran in my room.” Inmates are “getting antsy” over postponements, he added.
“Well, saying it and proving it are two different things, Mr. Randle,” Goering replied. “The state has the burden to prove these charges against you, and they may not be able to prove these charges against you. I don’t know.”
Cottner was charged with misdemeanor battery and disorderly conduct for the same incident, Sedgwick County District Court records show.
Randle remained in jail on Wednesday, according to online jail booking records. Including the amount in the new case, his bonds now total $59,000.
Randle has a preliminary hearing in the matter scheduled for Feb. 22 and indicated to Goering that he wanted a court-appointed lawyer to represent him.
Wednesday’s charges are the latest in a string of legal problems Randle has faced in Wichita since his release from the Cowboys organization in 2015. He is awaiting trials in four other criminal cases after twice being found competent to stand trial.
In those cases, prosecutors say he purposely hit people with a car after being asked to leave a housewarming party in February 2016; dodged law enforcement attempts to serve him with a warrant in March; threatened to kill a jail deputy who refused him phone privileges in May; and damaged a television at the jail in July.
Randle has pleaded not guilty to the allegations.