CORRECTION APPENDED: The photo caption in this article identified Carson Butler’s attorney James L. Galen, Jr. as Michigan football player Christian Richards.
At a court hearing yesterday, former Michigan football players Carson Butler and Christian Richards had their pre-trial hearings delayed until April 10.
Judge Ann Mattson, presiding over the 15th District Court, set the next pre-trial date after hearing from Butler and Richards.
The two were charged with aggravated assault as well as assault and battery stemming from an incident in West Quadrangle on March 17. They were arraigned last Wednesday. Both pleaded not guilty.
Michigan coach Lloyd Carr dismissed Butler and Richards from the team. He announced the decision before spring practice on Saturday.
The plaintiff hired Detroit-based attorney Ernest Jarrett, though neither he nor his client spoke in court yesterday.
Richards’s attorney, Nicholas Roumel, said he is prepared to go to trial.
“At this point, I’m open to any resolution,” said Roumel, who practices law in the Ann Arbor area. “I’m fine going to trial. If (the prosecution) has a fair offer, I’ll have to consider it with Chris.”
Butler sat in the courtroom until his case was called at 1:50 p.m.
His Detroit-based attorney, James L. Galen, Jr., immediately asked for an adjournment and hinted at a specific date and time. Peering over her glasses, Mattson told him to slow down as she set the time and date.
Butler also faces charges of being a minor in possession of alcohol and illegal substances.
The conditions for Butler’s release remained the same as those set during his arraignment. He isn’t allowed to contact the defendants, including Richards, or the plaintiff.
Richards’s time before Mattson lasted a little longer.
Mattson called his case at 2:20 p.m.
Roumel asked the judge for a pre-trial adjournment until the same date and time as Butler’s, but he focused most of his attention on changing the bond conditions.
Roumel told the judge he understood the reasons for Richards not having contact with the plaintiff, but he saw no reason why Richards couldn’t converse with his fellow defendants.
Mattson then asked for the prosecutor’s opinion. The prosecutor said that since Butler’s bond conditions had not changed, she would prefer Richards’s not change either. The judge agreed.
After the hearing, Roumel said that denying contact between the defendants allows the prosecution to ensure Butler and Richards don’t conspire together to influence the case.
Roumel said there is more to the case than the police report indicates. He maintained that there are two sides to the story.
During the discussion of bond and release conditions, Richards also had to address a count of illegally entering a campus building in May. He failed to appear in court on the charge.
Richards claimed he had never seen the order to appear. The judge didn’t make an issue of the absence, speculating that it got lost in the mail or sent to the wrong address.
Roumel said that for five days at the beginning of May, Richards stayed in a friend’s room in West Quad. Neither Richards nor the friend had permission to live in the room, and Richards received a $248 fine for a late stay in the dorms.
Roumel doesn’t believe the illegal entry charges will stand. According to Roumel, Richards’s mother paid the late fee on May 22 of last year.