Suggs given September court date for assault trial

OWINGS MILLS –An initial pretrial conference was held Tuesday in the felony aggravated assault case pending against Baltimore Ravens outside linebacker Terrell Suggs in Arizona. A Sept. 9 trial management conference and trial was set for Suggs, 21, in Maricopa County Superior Court regarding a criminal complaint stemming from a parking-lot fight after a basketball tournament last year at Phoenix Municipal Stadium.

The Ravens open the regular season Sept. 12 on the road against the Cleveland Browns.

Court documents allege that Suggs injured Anthony Henry with a steel bar on March 29, 2003, weeks before the Ravens drafted the former Arizona State standout with the 10th overall pick of the NFL draft. Suggs was named NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year last season after leading the AFC North champions and all rookies with 12 sacks.

Suggs has also been accused of a less serious charge of, "causing physical injury to Jeryme C. Cook by any means of force, which caused a temporary, but substantial disfigurement."

The case has been continued a few times as Suggs has retained new counsel, Lawrence Kazan. Kazan didn't return telephone calls seeking comment. 

When Suggs was charged in December and released from custody, he declined to discuss the specifics of the case, citing legal issues, and said: "There's always two sides to a story."

Gary Wichard, Suggs' agent, contended last year that Suggs was attempting to play peace-maker and said his client was attacked from behind with a steel rod.

"He got cold-cocked from behind, that's the scary thing," Wichard said in a published report. "He was in no way the aggressor. All he did was disarm the guy after he was hit twice with a bar."

Aaron Wilson writes for the Carroll County Times.

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