Hearings delayed for ex-U-M players

Attorneys for Butler, Richards ask for time to gather additional information

News Sports Reporter

The pretrial hearings for two former University of Michigan football players accused of beating another student were delayed two weeks to allow defense attorneys time to gather additional information.

Tight end Carson Butler and cornerback Chris Richards appeared in the 15th District Court in Ann Arbor on Tuesday, where their lawyers asked for more time. The hearings were rescheduled for April 10.

Butler and Richards pleaded not guilty last week to one count of aggravated assault and one count of assault and battery each stemming from the incident in a university dorm room on St. Patrick's Day.

"My client maintains he had nothing to do with it; he never hit nobody," Butler's attorney

James Galen, Jr. said by telephone. He was in me room, out he did not participate in any way, shape or form."

Galen said he anticipates that Butler's case will end in a jury trial.

Richards' attorney, Nicholas Roumel, said he is skeptical of statements made by the student, Walter Myers, who said he was attacked without provocation.

"Sometimes it's said that every story has two sides," Roumel said outside the courtroom. "I think you have two different stories from what I'm getting."

Also on Tuesday, Richards pleaded not guilty to an illegal entry charge that dated back to last year. Richards is accused of returning to his dorm room last May for several days after the dorm was closed for the summer.

Roumel said, however, Richards believed he was staying there legally, and added that Richards' mom paid soon after for the additional time in the dorm.

Last Saturday, Michigan coach Lloyd Carr announced both players had been dismissed from the team.

Butler, a redshirt freshman from Detroit, started seven games and caught 19 passes last season, while Richards, a redshirt freshman from California, had five tackles.

John Heuser can be reached
at jheuser@annarbornews.com or 734-994-6816.