Former Oregon Ducks tight end Colt Lyerla pleaded not guilty to an escape charge after police said he fled a corrections center and was found overdosed on drugs at a Hillsboro home last week.
The Oregonian/OregonLive reports Lyerla entered a not guilty plea Thursday and will next appear in Washington County Circuit Court on June 5.
Lyerla was caught May 5 after he escaped from custody in Washington County the day before, police said.
Lyerla escaped from the Washington County Community Corrections Center, where he was serving six months for drug possession, according to county spokesman Philip Bransford. The center is a minimum-security facility across the street from the Washington County Jail.
Washington County workers found an open dorm room window and saw someone trying to escape. All residents were accounted for during a headcount except Lyerla, Bransford said.
This is the facility former Oregon football player Colt Lyerla escaped from Thursday. Was serving six months after a drug conviction. pic.twitter.com/DU0QaWtgep— Art Edwards (@artedwardskgw) May 5, 2017
On May 5, Hillsboro police responding to a reported overdose found Lyerla inside a Hillsboro home. He had overdosed on an unknown drug, according to Hillsboro Lt. Henry Reimann.
Officers and paramedics found Lyerla awake and responsive in the home. The occupants said they gave Lyerla CPR and Narcan, which is used as an emergency overdose treatment.
Lyerla tried to run away while medics were escorting him to an ambulance, but he was caught a short time later, Reimann said.
Lyerla was taken to a hospital.
Lyerla was convicted for heroin possession earlier this year. He was also sentenced in April for forgery after he pleaded guilty to using counterfeit money at several convenience stores.
A highly touted football recruit out of Hillsboro High School, Lyerla, 24, was once considered an NFL prospect. He left the Ducks in the middle of the 2013 season after he was suspended for violating team rules. A brief stint with the Green Bay Packers ended after Lyerla injured his knee.
Lyerla pleaded guilty to cocaine possession in December 2013 and received a short jail sentence. A DUII charge in 2014 was dismissed.
He tried to make a comeback on Portland's Arena Football League team, but suffered a shoulder injury in the second game.
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