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The trial of Marcus and Markieff Morris continues Wednesday in Phoenix, Arizona, starting at 1:30 p.m. EDT, 10:30 am MST. Prosecutors say the twins, both professional basketball players, beat up 36-year-old Erik Hood outside a recreation center on Jan. 24, 2015.
The defendants were friends with the alleged victim for years, but police say they had a falling out over text messages Hood sent to the twins’ mother. This feud culminated in the alleged 2015 attack. Hood told cops he was talking to a friend of the Morris brothers when he was attacked from behind. The twins and three other men punched and kicked him as he tried to escape, Hood said. Investigators claim the alleged assailants escaped in a Rolls Royce, while Hood said he sustained a broken nose and bruises to the head. Three other alleged attackers were also charged. Two pleaded guilty last week, and the third man, Gerald Bowman, stands trial with the brothers. Each of the accused is represented by a different attorney.
The defense blames the attack on Julius Kane and Christopher Melendez, the men who pleaded guilty. They claim Hood pinned the attack on the Morris brothers because they were rich, and he thought he could make money off the allegations.
The state rested its case on Tuesday after Detective Fred Santos wrapped up his testimony, but the defense tried to end the trial then and there. Attorneys for the Morris brothers and Bowman issued motions to dismiss, but Judge Pamela Gates denied. It was unclear if each defendant would even present a case. Some witnesses said Markieff Morris wasn’t even involved, so he might just rest. Other witnesses said they were promised money in exchange for testifying.
The twins are facing two counts each of aggravated assault. If convicted, they’d be suspended for at least 10 games under NBA policy because this is a violent felony. Marcus Morris joined the Boston Celtics this off-season, and Markieff Morris is a forward for the Washington Wizards. Missing games is the least of their worries, though: they also face up to four years in prison.
Stay with LawNewz.com and the LawNewz Network for continuing coverage of the trial.
[Screengrab via SB Nation]