Cortland Fort—one of the five former Cal Poly football players accused of planning or carrying out an August 2014 armed robbery—agreed to a plea deal on April 20.
Fort pleaded no contest to a single felony count of conspiracy to commit grand theft and, in return, will avoid jail time. Prosecutor Eric Dobroth told New Times that conditions of Fort’s plea will include three years of felony probation, 1,000 mandated community service hours, and full payment of restitution, if necessary.
“This is a reasonable resolution to Mr. Fort’s portion of the case given his level of knowledge, involvement, youth, lack of criminal history, and cooperation with our office after his arrest,” Dobroth wrote in an email to New Times. “Extensive community service will allow Mr. Fort to give back a bit of what he has taken from our community and is a reasonable alternative to his sitting in jail.”
Fort’s attorney, Chris Casciola, said that the plea agreement was truly a resolution that satisfied both sides.
“I’m pleased that this agreement will give a young man with a bright future a second chance,” Casciola said. “[Fort’s] first and foremost goal is to get a college degree, and I think he will secure that. This is a learning experience for him, and I think my client is going to be successful.”
Fort’s formal sentencing is slated for May 11, while the other four defendants in the robbery case are scheduled for trial-setting conferences on May 6.