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Pittman plea: Not guilty, lawyer says

By ROGER MILLS
Published June 10, 2003

TAMPA - Bucs running back Michael Pittman will plead not guilty to two felony counts of aggravated assault stemming from a domestic dispute May 31 at his home in Phoenix, his attorney said Monday.

Phoenix-based attorney Phillip Noland said "the whole situation" will be worked out and added Pittman, who is facing possible jail time if his three-year probation for two previous misdemeanors counts of domestic violence is revoked, will play his second season for the Bucs.

"He's going to plead not guilty and we're going to work it out," Noland said. "He's going to be (the team's) star player again this year."

Pittman, 27, worked out Monday at One Buc Place after being charged Wednesday with ramming his Hummer into the Mercedes-Benz driven by his wife, Melissa. The couple's 2-year-old son, Mycah, and the family's 18-year-old babysitter, Kristina Hegland, also were in the car.

According to the arrest report obtained by the St. Petersburg Times last week, Melissa, 25, told police "there were 30 to 40 prior domestic violence situations that were never reported to the police."

Melissa's mother, Cathy Mumford, told police "she had been present during several domestic violence situations between Michael and Melissa in the past."

Noland dismissed the claims.

"Michael is a wonderful guy," he said. "I don't know how many police reports you have seen but they all look like that. I know people say a lot of different things. There's nothing egregious about (the statements in the report)."

Pittman has two other domestic violence arrests dating to 1997.

He was charged in 1997 in Fresno, Calif., with domestic assault against Lelica Zazaboi, his girlfriend. He pleaded no contest to misdemeanor battery and was sentenced to a yearlong batterers treatment program and two years' probation.

In September 2001 in Tempe, Ariz., Pittman pleaded guilty to misdemeanor counts of criminal trespass and criminal damage involving Melissa, whom he married in 1999. The NFL suspended him for one game and he was placed on three years' probation by the Tempe court.

Last week, Tempe city prosecutor Robert Hubbard told the Times his office planned to ask a municipal court judge to revoke Pittman's probation. The Arizona Republic reported that one of the terms of Pittman's probation was that he remain "at all times, a law-abiding citizen."

Noland said it is "certainly possible" that Pittman could be sent to jail if his probation is revoked but added there are other possibilities, such as a new probation term and/or an appeal.

Hubbard could not be reached for comment.

Police: Anthony Carter beat wife

WEST PALM BEACH - Former Minnesota Vikings receiver Anthony Carter was arrested on charges he beat his wife and pointed a handgun at her head.

The 11-year NFL veteran who also played for Detroit was released Sunday on $5,000 bond.

Carter, 42, was charged with domestic battery, assault with a firearm and false imprisonment when he was arrested Saturday, according to police reports.

Carter, who was a Florida high school standout in Riviera Beach and went on to a college Hall of Fame career at Michigan, did not return messages left Monday at his home.

Kimberly Carter told deputies her husband struck her in the face and threw her to the ground repeatedly early Friday, the arrest report said. She also said he pointed a .45-caliber handgun at her head and wouldn't let her leave their house or call for help.

She said he finally let her out two hours after the assault began when she asked to walk the dog, according to the report. She walked to a gas station, where someone called police.

Deputies went to the house, where the couple's 8-year-old son was sleeping. Carter refused to come to the door or answer the phone, the report said. He initially refused to let the child, who has cerebral palsy, leave. Finally, he brought the boy outside and placed him near the door on a pillow with his medications.

Kimberly Carter, who obtained a restraining order, told deputies her husband had abused her but "never to this extreme." Deputies said they could see bruises and abrasions on her.

- Associated Press

DOLPHINS: Brian Griese knows a quarterback controversy, whether real or imagined, will be immediately perceived the first time he and Jay Fiedler work out together. But Griese did his best to quell any notions that his sole goal is to supplant Fiedler as the starter.

"Any way that I can help this team - I don't care if it's carrying the water out to the players - I'm going to do it," said Griese, who signed a two-year contract after passing a physical. The former Broncos starter will earn $530,000 in base salary this season, plus a $1-million signing bonus.

SEAHAWKS: Receiver Koren Robinson will miss the final two days of minicamp after breaking the knuckle on his right middle finger.

TITANS: Free safety Lance Schulters was robbed of his Mercedes-Benz at gunpoint. Nashville police said Schulters had just reached his car, parked at the side of a restaurant, when a gunman approached. The gunman pointed his pistol at Schulters and cocked the hammer. The gunman took the car and fled, police said.

[Last modified June 10, 2003, 06:22:16]

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Bucs

  • Pittman plea: Not guilty, lawyer says

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  • Up next: Reds


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