BRIDGETON - Vineland native and San Francisco Giants Major League Baseball player Darren Ford was able to avoid a trial and potential jail time following an arrest for theft last year by entering into a Pre-Trial Intervention program.
Ford, 25, appeared before Judge David Krell in Cumberland County Superior Court in Bridgeton Monday afternoon where he pleaded to accusation - essentially admitting his culpability in connection with two counts of theft, filing a false report, and obstruction, following his November 2009 arrest.
Represented by Philadelphia-based attorney Hank Hockeimer, Ford told Krell that he intended to waive his right to a trial, a condition of the plea agreement offered by the Assistant Prosecutor Harold Shapiro.
Both Ford and his attorney declined to comment following the hearing. The PTI program is typically offered to first-time offenders such as Ford. The rehabilitative program would allow Ford to avoid having a criminal record.
Ford, a 2004 Vineland High School graduate and reserve on the World Series champion Giants, didn't let the charges affect his baseball career. He made his Major League debut Sept. 1 for the Giants, and in his first game, with the score tied 1-1 in the eighth inning against the Colorado Rockies, Ford scored the game-winning run.
Ford was not added to San Francisco's playoff roster, but traveled with the Giants as they won the World Series against the Texas Rangers.
Last week, mayor Robert Romano presented Ford with a key to the city.