July 4, 2022

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Dafonte Neal of Idaho is charged with first-degree murder

Dafonte Neal of Idaho is charged with first-degree murder

Dafonte Neal, an assistant coach for the Idaho State soccer team, is charged with first-degree murder.

Idaho State Journal reports that Neil was arrested on May 25 in connection with a murder that occurred in Arizona in 2017.

The university told the newspaper that Neil had taken administrative leave and that the soccer team intended to terminate his contract.

“I’ve been in frequent contact (ISU head coach Charlie Raggle) who has known Dafonte for many years and had no knowledge or suspicion of potential crime of any kind,” Pauline Theros, ISU’s athletic director, told the newspaper.

“The news of Dafonte Neal’s arrest and charges in Arizona has been a huge shock. Moving 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 it will be resolved for all involved.”

ISU President Kevin Satterley added, “Idaho takes all allegations regarding our employees very seriously, and we are committed to the safety and well-being of our community. We fully cooperate with law enforcement in their investigations.”

Dafonte Neale was charged with first-degree murder.
Bannock County Jail
Dafonte Neal while playing in Arizona.
Dafonte Neal while playing in Arizona.
Corbis / Icon Sportswire via Getty

Playing with Ragle, the first year coach, at Chaparral High School in Scottsdale, Arizona, Neil was named Arizona Player of the Year at Gatorade as a wide receiver in his middle and high school years. He is listed as the 53rd best player nationwide in his category by 247, and Registered in Notre Dame.

Neil transferred to the University of Arizona and played a wide receiver as a sophomore before turning into a defensive linebacker in his junior and middle seasons.

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Prior to joining the Idaho State Staff, Neil was an assistant at Higley High in Gilbert, Arizona.