UNC's Cota, Newby Enter Mediation to Avoid Trial for Halloween Brawl
Posted January 19, 2000 6:00 a.m. EST
HILLSBOROUGH — UNC-Chapel Hillbasketball players Ed Cota and Terrance Newby are trying to avoid a day in court on charges they attacked a fellow student on Halloween.
Cota and Newby had little to say as they walked into the Orange County Courthouse.
The UNC players are charged with five counts each of assault in connection with a Halloween night brawl on campus.
Co-defendants Edward Capel and Trayon Bolden are each charged with two counts of assault.
The judge in the case against Cota and Newby has a policy of sending these types of cases to mediation, in hopes the two parties can reach a compromise and avoid a trial. And that is where he sent this case as well.
The defendants and the six alleged victims met face-to-face with a mediator Wednesday, in hopes of reaching an out-of-court compromise.
"I think generally the mediators meet with each side -- the victims and the defendants -- get their versions of what happened, and at some point they try to bring them together to see if there is a way to resolve it short of coming in to court," says prosecutor Jim Woodall.
No attorneys are allowed in the talks, and nothing that is said can be used in court.
Prosecutors say mediation is common in this type of case.
"It is typical, and that is one of the things the Judge stressed. That that would be typically what he did in this case and he was going to treat this case just like he did every other case," Woodall says.
The defendants and the victims spent hours talking Wednesday, but they were not able to reach a deal.
Cota and Newby's attorney would not say what the sticking point was, but he is hopeful the two sides will meet again and resolve this case without a trial.
If the case is not resolved through mediation, it will go to trial in late February.