Charges in the case against Tennessee senior defensive lineman Darel Middleton were dismissed Friday according to online court records.
Middleton, who made his initial court appearance in March, had been scheduled for an August court date due to a February arrest on misdemeanor charges of domestic assault and public intoxication. He faced allegations that he twice shoved his girlfriend to the ground causing her to scrape her knee. He was arrested after an officer responded to a call at 2:44 a.m. for an incident that allegedly occurred in an alley behind Walgreens on Cumberland Avenue.
Middleton was jealous of one of his girlfriend’s male friends according to an arrest warrant. He then became angry and began fighting with one of his own male friends, before twice shoving his girlfriend after she intervened.
When police located Middleton at The Standard at Knoxville apartments, near Cumberland Avenue, he smelled of alcohol and had “blood shot eyes and slurred speech,” the arrest warrant stated.
“I would like to issue a formal apology for my actions this past week,” Middleton wrote. “Through my actions, I brought negative attention to my family, team, school, the Vol Nation and myself.”
Middleton would continue later in the note to state that he is seeking help with alcohol counseling after Saturday’s incident.
“In my growth, I am learning to take responsibility for my actions,” Middleton continued. “No matter what my intent may have been, I was wrong in my actions. I have come to realize that alcohol was an influence on my actions. Alcohol is not a problem for me in regards of how much, how often, etc. I realize it is a problem if it can cause me to act in a way the (sic) not in my best interest. For that, I am seeking Alcohol Counseling now. I am going to contact Ms. Juarez, with Center for Health Education and Wellness, to see if they could help with my counseling.”
The 6-foot-7, 311-pound lineman joined the Vols as a junior college signee in the 2019 class and was one of Tennessee’s top contributors along the defensive line last season. Middleton played in all 13 games for the Vols and started six contests, totaling 28 tackles, two tackles for loss, a sack, a forced fumble, and a blocked kick.
Prior to coming to Tennessee, Middleton played at East Mississippi Community College. Before that, Middleton played tight end at Oak Ridge High School in 2015 before enrolling in the JUCO ranks. Before transferring to Oak Ridge, Middleton played at Powell High School.