Idaho state soccer assistant coach Dafont Neale arrested, charged with premeditated murder

Idaho state football assistant coach Dafont Neal has been arrested by police in Pocatello, Idaho, at the request of the Maricopa (Arizona) County Sheriff’s Office on a warrant that includes first-degree murder, shooting from a speeding car, and a disarmament Fire in a building, according to Pocatello police.

Records showed the arrest took place on May 25 and Neil is still in Bannock County Jail awaiting extradition to Arizona. The alleged shooting occurred in 2017, according to Pocatello police.

Neal, who played college football for Arizona and Notre Dame, had not previously coached college football before he was hired in January by new Bengals coach Charlie Raggle. Raleigh trained Neal for the first time at Chaparral High in Arizona, where Neil was the Gatorade State MVP twice (2010, 2011). Raggle also coached Neil in Arizona, where Raggle was an assistant coach from 2012 to 2016.

In a text message to the Idaho State Journal, which first reported the arrest, Idaho State Athletic Director Pauline Theros said, “I have been in frequent contact with [Ragle] who has known DaVonte for many years and had no knowledge or suspicion of a possible crime of any kind. The news of Dafonte Neal’s arrest and charges in Arizona came as a huge shock. Going forward, we will cooperate in every way possible, protect our program and culture, support each other and our students, and allow the legal process to work. The news is devastating and we hope for a solution for all concerned.”

The State Journal reports that the state of Idaho has placed Neil on administrative leave and has begun the termination process.

No further details about the incident were received from the Pocatello police.


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