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Trial begins in alleged assault on UNC football players

Posted November 12, 2008

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— The trial the alleged armed robbery of three University of North Carolina football players last year began Wednesday.

Michael Troy Lewis, 33, of Durham, is charged with three counts of attempted felony larceny, two counts of first-degree kidnapping and one count each of criminal conspiracy, robbery with a dangerous weapon and assault on a government official.

One of the players met Lewis and two women at a Chapel Hill bar on Dec. 16, 2007, and invited them back to his apartment, according to police. Investigators said the players were tied up inside the apartment and robbed at knife-point, and one of the women fondled one of the players during the incident.

"This man puts a knife to (a player's) neck and tells him, basically, 'If you don't want your mother going to your funeral, you'd better relax,'" Orange County Assistant District Attorney Morgan Whitney said in his opening statement.

A judge threw out several charges in the case in January, saying there was no probable cause to support claims that a second player, junior offensive lineman Aaron Stahl, had been sexually assaulted.

Another junior offensive lineman, Lowell Dyer, testified in January that he wasn't sexually assaulted during the incident.

Monique Jenice Taylor, 29, is charged with one count each of criminal conspiracy, first-degree kidnapping, first-degree sexual offense and resisting a public officer in the case. She will be tried separately.

Tnikia Monta Washington, 30, is charged with resisting a public officer in the case.

Lewis' defense attorney, Russell Hollers, told jurors in his opening statement that one of the players was trying to pay the women for sex and that any sexual contact that night was consensual.

"When Mr. Stahl wanted to get freaky and get tied up, that's when Mr. Lewis said, 'No, that's not my thing,' and he left the room," Hollers said.

None of the football players was in the courtroom Wednesday, although Whitney said they would likely testify later in the trial.

8 Comments

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  • aerolove2k Nov 12, 2008

    common sense 101 is not a course at UNC. It may be offered at the graduate level, but I'm unsure.

  • Butterbean Nov 12, 2008

    Well...I was in the jury pool and thank God I wasn't called up, because I would have been dimissed, because it would have stated what I thought. If the football players were so drunk that they let this happen to them, they were too drunk to know for sure what happened. Remember, the defendant was invited as a guest. Also, if they were so drunk to let this happen, well... that's their stupidity.

  • wfisher5 Nov 12, 2008

    These comments are non-sense, what does it matter if they are large size football players or athletes. If a person put a knife to your throat and threaten your life, you do what they say. There no time for heroes or egos....common sense 101.

  • please-stand-by Nov 12, 2008

    Hey, Butterbean,

    I'd like to know what you would do if three people were holding knives and robbing you. You'd probably be the first one to put your hands behind your back and beg to be tied up. Felonies were committed here. For you to insinuate that this was anything less is just ridiculous. I wish you had been chosen for the jury. Then you'd be able to hear the testimony and learn the facts surrounding this incident.

  • Butterbean Nov 12, 2008

    This is a joke. Three big football players let this happen to them! Bull shavings. That's what I thought when it first happened and I haven't changed my mind. Sure glad I wasn't one of the jurors picked. This is the first time I've heard of them picking two alternate jurors.

  • DeathRow-IFeelYourPain-NOT Nov 12, 2008

    From the details I've read previously on this crime, the 3 or so criminals involved should be punished severely. I believe it was one man and two women who assaulted the boys. I know its men being assaulted, but they should all be tried on rape charges. This wasn't just a prank. It was basically a sexual assault by the women on the boys who were bound.

  • Maple Walnut Ice Cream Nov 12, 2008

    Just try and relax.

  • TStills Nov 12, 2008

    LOL - oh, man!! not even sure where to begin on this one.....

    Holy Moley!! All the Power!! All the SUPERPOWER!!!