Idaho Statesman: Great as Kindling, also Great at Putting Out Fires 

Idaho Statesman Sports Editor Mike Prater was arrested in the wee small hours of last Friday morning on charges of misdemeanor domestic battery. Police responded to a call at Prater's bench home at 4:20 a.m., where they found a woman with blood in the corner of her mouth and bruising around her right eye. She said her boyfriend had punched her several times, according to a story in the Statesman. What's that you say? BW citing the Statesman? It's rare, but the daily's spin on events was a surprisingly detailed yarn, well worth sharing.

First up, after the "nut" of the story, Prater, 43, was given the opportunity to deny the charges. He said he was "absolutely innocent" and will "vigorously defend myself" through the court system. Then, to back up Prater's claim of innocence, author Heather Druzin recounted Prater's version of the entire incident--from the cause of the argument, to Prater and his girlfriend wrestling on a bed, to her falling off the bed and ripping her shirt, to her calling the police because she feared for her safety.

Need even more denial for a simple misdemeanor allegation? You've got it! Up next was Prater's attorney Rob Schockley, who reminded us, "An allegation is not evidence of any kind."

Following Schockley, Prater's ex-wife piped up, "He's not violent and I can attest to this ... In the 14 years we were married, there was absolutely no violence or even a voice raised."

Not enough? Jeff Caves, co-host of Prater's afternoon radio gig Idaho Sports Talk, chimed in with the request that people refrain from "making a judgment on a personal level" about the sports editor.

Finally, Prater's bosses took their swings at the court of public opinion. Managing Editor Cherrill Crosby called him a "solid employee and a good manager," while new Executive Editor Vicki Gowler added that Prater is innocent until proven guilty. Thanks for that update, Vicki. It was tough to glean that from the rest of your chorus.

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