Crime & Courts

Ex-Cowboy Joseph Randle bound over for trial in Wichita

Former Dallas Cowboys running back Joseph Randle leaves a Sedgwick County courtroom earlier this year.
Former Dallas Cowboys running back Joseph Randle leaves a Sedgwick County courtroom earlier this year. The Wichita Eagle

A dislike for the rules of a drinking game and a racial slur spoken by a man he didn’t consider “black enough” to use it angered Joseph Randle enough to back his car into three people at a housewarming party in Wichita in February, according to testimony offered Thursday during one of three court hearings held for the former Dallas Cowboys running back.

The host of the party, Loy Alexander, testified that Randle got upset over a game of beer pong in the early-morning hours of Feb. 21 at 8620 E. Scott and then got into a verbal argument with one of the players after the man used a racial slur.

Alexander said he separated Randle and the man – a close friend of Alexander’s – to de-escalate the situation. Randle was asked to leave and he agreed.

But Randle suddenly turned around before reaching the door and darted back up the stairs, he testified.

“I don’t know what set him off, but he just rushed upstairs to attack somebody,” Alexander said in court. He added that he grabbed Randle after he changed course and forced him back toward the door to keep him from harming anyone.

I don’t know what set him off, but he just rushed upstairs to attack somebody.

Loy Alexander, testifying in court

When the pair were outside, Alexander said Randle headed toward his black 2015 Honda Accord. Randle rummaged through his trunk for a few moments, then slammed the lid and got into the driver’s seat.

What happened next led to Randle’s slew of felony charges.

“He throws it in (gear) and then runs me over the first time,” Alexander said of Randle.

Randle’s car struck Alexander’s legs first, and then “my shoulder hits the windshield,” he recalled. “I feel my back kind of rolling over the top of the car.”

Randle, Alexander said, pulled away from the house only to come back moments later and strike him with the car again.

“He hits me again and hits my sister for the first time,” Alexander said in court. The force sent him tumbling over the car once again and knocked his sister unconscious, he said.

Afterward, Alexander testified, Randle kicked in the door to the home, pointing and yelling at people inside, “Who else wants some?” and “Who else wants to come outside?”

Who else wants to come outside?

Joseph Randle to party guests, according to court testimony

Alexander testified that he didn’t personally invite Randle to his party – and didn’t know immediately who he was – but that Randle was welcome in his home. He later learned they’d attended school together.

“He was obviously there to get into a confrontation with someone,” Alexander said in court.

The testimony came during the first of three preliminary hearings held back-to-back Thursday morning for the former National Football League player.

Randle, 24, is also facing charges related to accusations that he ran from Wichita police who were trying to serve an arrest warrant on him on March 6 and that he threatened to kill a detention deputy who refused to let him use the phone on May 14.

After hearing Alexander’s account and those of others who were at the housewarming party in February, Sedgwick County District Court Judge Joe Kisner bound Randle over for trial on eight charges associated with the case. They include aggravated battery, criminal damage to property, criminal threat and aggravated burglary.

He was obviously there to get into a confrontation with someone.

Loy Alexander, testifying in court

Kisner on Thursday also bound Randle over for trial on one count of interfering with law enforcement for the March incident with the warrant.

But he delayed ruling on whether Randle should be tried for allegedly threatening the jail deputy until Friday after Randle’s attorney argued that the state’s criminal threat law shouldn’t apply to comments made by inmates over an intercom.

Randle, he pointed out, was in solitary confinement at the time of the alleged threats and didn’t know exactly who he was talking to because the conversation with the deputy wasn’t face-to-face.

Alice Osburn, the Sedgwick County assistant district attorney prosecuting Randle’s cases, disagreed and urged Kisner to order Randle to face trial on the threat charge.

Randle is due back in court at 8:45 a.m. Friday for the ruling in the threat case. He’ll also be arraigned on the other charges at that time.

The cases are the latest in a string of legal woes for the former NFL running back since he was released from the Cowboys organization last year.

He remained in Sedgwick County Jail on Thursday in lieu of $50,000 bond.

Wearing a red jail jumpsuit and shackles at his wrists and ankles, Randle sat quietly throughout most of Thursday’s proceedings. Occasionally, he turned to peek at some of his family members sitting in the gallery.

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, making an appearance at the team's facility in Frisco, Texas, commented on releasing running back Joseph Randle. (video by Paul Mosley/Star-Telegram/April 2016)

Amy Renee Leiker: 316-268-6644, @amyreneeleiker