NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Former NFL and University of Alabama quarterback Jay Barker has pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of reckless endangerment following his arrest in January when he was accused of domestic violence against his wife, country singer, Sara Evans.
The incident happened on Jan. 15 near his Nashville home. Harry Jerome Barker, better known as Jay Barker, tried to hit his wife, country music singer Sara Evans, with his car.
An arrest warrant said officers were called to a domestic disturbance around 1:30 a.m. that day. When officers arrived on scene, Evans told them she was at a party at her neighbor’s house across the street and, when the party was ending, she got into the passenger seat of a car and had someone drive her across the street.
As the car she was in crossed the threshold of her driveway, she said she saw Barker put his car in reverse and accelerate toward them, trying to hit them.
Barker was taken into custody on a 12-hour hold for domestic violence and charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.
According to Steve Hayslip with the District Attorney General’s office, Barker entered a best interest plea – meaning he doesn’t admit guilt, but agrees to a guilty plea is in his best interest – Thursday with a diversion to a charge of reckless endangerment.
Conditions of the plea mandate a 26-week-long Batterer’s Intervention Program and the disposal of any firearms he may have.
During his NFL career, Barker was drafted for the Green Bay Packers in 1995, but did not make the team. He then was on the rosters for both the New England Patriots and Carolina Panthers but never played in a regular season game.
However, Barker later played for the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League and the short-lived Birmingham Thunderbolts of the first wave of the XFL.
He is best known for his time in college as the Alabama Crimson Tide’s quarterback from 1992-94. He and the Crimson Tide won the national championship in 1993 after defeating the University of Miami in the Sugar Bowl.
Evans has had five songs reach the No. 1 spot on the Billboard country songs chart and has won numerous awards with the Academy of Country Music and the Country Music Association, most notably, Female Vocalist of the Year and Single of the Year.
Barker and Evans are still married, but separated, records show. The District Attorney’s Office said the couple is in the process of finalizing their divorce.
Nexstar’s WKRN has reached out to Barker for comment but has not heard back.