By ABC News | January 21, 2005
Former Portland Trail Blazers forward Qyntel Woods pleaded guilty to misdemeanor animal abuse today, three months after an investigation was launched into allegations that he was involved in dogfighting.
Woods pleaded guilty in Clackamas County Circuit Court in Oregon City and was sentenced to 12 months of probation and 80 hours of community service. Woods will also not be allowed to own any pets during his probation.
Dogfighting is a felony that carries up to a five-year prison sentence and up to $100,000 in fines.
In addition, Woods pledged to make a $10,000 donation to the Oregon Humane Society.
"I've tried to be a responsible pet owner all of my life," he said in a statement read in court by his attorney. "Because of that I am very sorry and saddened that my dog, Hollywood, was injured. I also deeply regret the concern this has caused other pet owners and citizens in our community. I fully support the goals of the Humane Society and the fine work it does. For that reason, I have decided to make a financial contribution to the Humane Society in the amount of $10,000. Once again, I offer my sincere apology."
Investigators from the Oregon Humane Society and the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office searched Woods' Lake Oswego home on Oct. 11 and again on Oct. 15, prompted by an investigation by ABC News affiliate KATU-TV in Portland. The station reported that on Oct. 4, Woods had allegedly abandoned a pit bull named Hollywood that appeared to have bite wounds.
A half-dozen pit bulls were removed from the home, a police source told KATU in October.
Despite Woods' plea to a reduced charge, the fallout for the 23-year-old forward, who has averaged 3.1 points per game in his two years in the NBA, may be worse than the court penalty.
The Trail Blazers announced today after Woods' court appearance that they had waived him.
"Qyntel was waived as a result of material breaches of the contract with the Trail Blazers organization and for failure to comply with team rules," Trail Blazers president Steve Patterson said in a statement released by the team. "[Team owner] Paul Allen has made a commitment to this community and as I have said from the time I came to this organization, our fans and this city can have the expectation that we will do the right thing. From the moment we were made aware of this disturbing situation, we have acted quickly and in a strong manner by suspending Qyntel and cooperating with authorities. In light of today's developments, it is clear that the Trail Blazers and Qyntel Woods must part ways. We are confident that this action is both justified and appropriate."
Woods, who was Portland's first-round draft pick in the 2002 NBA draft, had been suspended from the team since Oct. 12, and as of the Trail Blazers' most recent game Tuesday night, Woods had lost about $280,000 this season.
His contract had called for him to receive $1,053,720 in salary this year.
KATU News has also learned that Woods lost his Lake Oswego home to foreclosure in December. That home is the same home where investigators removed stained wall boards from an alleged dogfight room above the garage.
Trail Blazers President Steve Patterson released a statement Thursday about the investigation, but the statement did not mention whether Woods' career is over in Portland.
"This process has been long and frustrating for everyone involved, and we are hopeful for a resolution tomorrow," Patterson said.
Woods' attorney, Stephen Houze, declined to comment on the case.