Felton Spencer (Bellarmine photo at left, Oldham County mugshot at right)

Felton Spencer (Left-hand image courtesy Bellarmine University, right-hand image courtesy Oldham County Detention Center)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Felton Spencer, a former U of L basketball star and assistant men's basketball coach at Bellarmine University, will plead guilty in December to drunken driving, according to court records.

Spencer will attend an alcohol driver education program, pay a fine and have his license suspended for 30 days. He will not serve any time in jail.

John Harralson, an attorney for Spencer, confirmed that Spencer will plead guilty. The decision was entered into court records at a pre-trial hearing earlier this week.

Spencer was holding a cup of Crown Royal whisky when he was found unconscious inside his vehicle just before 2:30 a.m. on Jan. 6 at the Thorntons in the 13000 block of U.S. 42, near Hunters Ridge Drive, in Prospect. 

But Harralson claims Spencer was not too inebriated to legally drive and actually had fallen asleep because of a medical issue with his heart.

“I felt we could win the case at trial,” Harralson said in an interview Friday.

Spencer, however, wanted to get the case behind him, his attorney said.

“I think Felton’s a good person, and he realized he should not have had alcohol in the car,” Harralson said. “He has remorse over his conduct and he is going to plead guilty and take the appropriate punishment.”

Police have said when they arrived, they found Spencer in the driver's seat of the vehicle, with his eyes closed and a cup in his hand.

Spencer, 51, awoke when officers knocked on his window. He allegedly told police that the cup contained Crown Royal whisky and he'd just driven from his home to the gas station, where he fell asleep.

According to the arrest report, he admitted to drinking three glasses of whisky. 

He refused to take a blood alcohol test without an attorney present. 

Spencer was arrested and charged with operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, operating a motor vehicle with a suspended or revoked operator's license and possession of an open alcoholic beverage container inside a motor vehicle.

He will plead guilty to DUI in Oldham District Court on Dec. 16. 

Harralson said Spencer has been on medical leave from Bellarmine because of the heart issues, but he did not know anything about his current job status with the university.

Spencer is not listed as an active coach on the school's website. 

According to Bellarmine University's website, Spencer became an assistant coach during the men's basketball team's 2016-17 season. Before that, Spencer played four seasons at the University of Louisville from 1986 to 1990. He went on to play a dozen seasons with the NBA, beginning in 1990.

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Digital Reporter

Jason Riley is a criminal justice reporter for WDRB.com. He joined WDRB News in 2013 after 14 years with The Courier-Journal. He graduated from Western Kentucky University. Jason can be reached at 502-585-0823 and jriley@wdrb.com.