A former Grizzly football player has been acquitted of the disorderly conduct charge that prompted his dismissal from the team in June.

Qwenton J. Freeman, 22, was expelled from the team after police arrested him outside a bar in downtown Missoula for allegedly throwing a beer bottle at a man.

On Sept. 10, following a one-day bench trial earlier in the week, Acting Municipal Court Judge Shawn E. Rosscup found Freeman not guilty of the misdemeanor charge.

According to University of Montana officials, Freeman was expelled for failing to follow "disciplinary guidelines" handed to him after California authorities alleged he witnessed another teammate, Jimmy Wilson, shoot a man to death in the Los Angeles area.

The detectives said Freeman was unwilling to cooperate with their investigation of the murder, despite "strict orders to fully cooperate with law enforcement officers," according to a statement from UM officials.

Freeman said he was acting on advice from his attorney.

Despite his acquittal in the bottle-throwing incident, the former cornerback still has two separate cases pending in Missoula Municipal Court.

In one case, Freeman is accused of misdemeanor assault and disorderly conduct for slapping a 24-year-old Missoula woman outside of the same downtown bar where the alleged bottle-throwing occurred. The alleged offense occurred on June 23, the night before Freeman was arrested for disorderly conduct and kicked off the football team.

Another case charges Freeman with misdemeanor partner assault for allegedly choking his girlfriend and hitting her in the head, according to an affidavit filed in Municipal Court. He also pulled her hair and threw her to the ground outside the apartment building, records state.

Freeman has denied all of the allegations, and both cases are slated for trial in October.

In another criminal case resolved in May, Freeman pleaded guilty to misdemeanor criminal mischief for throwing a beer bottle at Westside Lanes in July 2006. He received a suspended sentence and was ordered to pay restitution, according to Missoula City Attorney Judy Wang.

Reporter Tristan Scott can be reached at 523-5264 or at tscott@missoulian.com.

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