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#pounditSunday, September 20, 2020

Legal Matters

Kenny Stills arrested at Breonna Taylor protest, facing felony charge

Houston Texans wide receiver Kenny Stills is facing a felony charge after he and a large group of people were arrested at a protest in Louisville on Tuesday.

Stills and several other protesters went on an organized march to the home of Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron. The purpose of the protest was to demand action against the police officers who shot and killed Breonna Taylor back in March. According to Lucas Aulbach of the Louisville Courier Journal, Stills and 86 other protesters were arrested.

Stills was charged with intimidating a participant in the legal process, which is a felony. He is also facing misdemeanor charges of disorderly conduct and criminal trespass. The others involved are facing similar charges.

Louisville Metro Police Lamont Washington said in a statement that the protesters stood on Cameron’s lawn and chanted. Washington said authorities gave all of the protesters a chance to leave before arresting anyone, but the protesters were ultimately charged “due to their refusal to leave the property and their attempts to influence the decision of the Attorney General with their actions.”

Taylor, an ER technician, was shot and killed when Louisville police were serving a no-knock warrant over the suspected sale of drugs back in March. Gunfire was exchanged between officers and Taylor’s boyfriend Kenneth Walker, who said he believed the officers were intruders. The primary targets of the investigation were two other men, one of whom Taylor had a prior relationship with.

Stills has been one of the most outspoken players in the NFL with social justice issues. He has supported Colin Kaepernick for years and was more recently critical of an NFL owner who made a charitable donation to a social justice cause.

Lawyer says Deandre Baker payoff story is ‘false’ and ‘defamatory’

Deandre Baker

The lawyer for Deandre Baker says that a story alleging the New York Giants cornerback was part of a payoff plan to cover up his crime is “false” and “defamatory.”

Baker and Quinton Dunbar, who is a cornerback for the Seahawks, pleaded not guilty to armed robbery charges in May. Baker is also facing four counts of aggravated assault with a firearm and pleaded not guilty to those charges.

On Friday, the New York Daily News reported that video and Instagram direct message evidence shows Dunbar’s attorney helped organize a payoff plan where the alleged victims were given $55,000 to recant their testimony about the robbery.

Baker’s attorney Bradford Cohen responded to the tweet by calling the story false. He also says they accused the alleged victims of extortion.

Baker’s attorney said in May that the cornerback was the victim of a shakedown.

The Giants have not had Baker participating in their virtual offseason. The 22-year-old was a first-round pick in 2019 and had 61 tackles as a rookie last season.

Deandre Baker, Quinton Dunbar reportedly paid off alleged robbery victims

Deandre Baker

Deandre Baker and Quinton Dunbar paid off the alleged victims of a robbery that allegedly took place in May, according to a report.

Baker, 22, is a cornerback for the New York Giants, and Dunbar, 27, plays cornerback for the Seahawks. On May 14, Miramar Police in Florida issued arrest warrants for the players, who were accused of robbing some in attendance at a party. They were accused of stealing $7,000 in cash and two watches with a combined value of $43,000. The players were said to have lost about $70,000 at a different party a few days earlier, and then robbed some people in attendance at the May 13 party.

The New York Daily News’ Pat Leonard published a report on Friday in which he said video evidence, Instagram direct messages, and testimonies show the players paid off the alleged robbery victims.

Warrants obtained by Leonard show alleged witness Dominic Johnson served as a middleman in handling the payoff. The four alleged victims are said to have received $55,000 in the payoff on May 15, the day after the arrest warrants were issued.

Dunbar’s attorney, Michael Grieco, contacted authorities to let them know that the victims and witness recanted their testimonies against Dunbar. That took place on May 15, the same day of the alleged payoff.

“On 5/15/20, I was contacted by Michael Grieco, attorney for Dunbar, stating the victims and witness have recanted their sworn/recorded statements against Dunbar,” the warrant reads, according to the New York Daily News. “However, I also want the court to be aware that all five individuals have been threatened and have expressed extreme concern to me regarding their safety. One of the individual(s) was forced to move out of his apartment. The other was receiving texted messages containing pictures of his passport, the same passport that was stolen during the robbery.”

Instagram direct messages from Johnson’s account reportedly corroborate that there was a robbery. Video evidence also supposedly shows people coming in and out of a building, meeting by Grieco’s office, and a black bag where money is visible.

“Got them same n—-s that said they got robbed to say they didn’t … Same n—-s that got robbed I made them fix that sh-t,” Johnson reportedly wrote in an Instagram direct message, seemingly confirming the payoff.

Both Dunbar and Baker turned themselves in on May 16 and spent the night in jail before being released on bond. They each pleaded not guilty to the four counts of armed robbery with a firearm charges they faced. Baker is also being charged with four counts of aggravated assault with a firearm.

Zion Williamson, stepfather accused of being paid $400K while at Duke

Zion Williamson

The latest development in the legal battle between Zion Williamson and his former marketing agent, Gina Ford, has the potential to be a huge one.

In a new court filing obtained by Daniel Wallach of The Athletic, Ford and her agency, Prime Sports Marketing, allege that Williamson and his stepfather were paid $400,000 to sign with another marketing agency in October 2018. Williamson was enrolled at Duke at the time.

In response, Williamson’s legal team claimed the new evidence Ford filed is “patently fraudulent.” Williamson’s attorneys claim Ford’s filing included a fake driver’s license and a “clearly fraudulent” signature.

In 2019, Williamson filed a lawsuit in North Carolina against Ford, alleging that his marketing agreement with Prime Sports Marketing was invalid under the Uniform Athlete Agent Act. Ford is not a registered agent in North Carolina and therefore, Williamson’s team believes a contract Williamson signed with her in North Carolina would be void.

Ford filed a suit in Florida saying that Williamson is not protected under the Uniform Athlete Agent Act because he took improper benefits while at Duke, which would make him an ineligible player according to NCAA rules.

Earlier this month, a Florida 11th Circuit Court judge ruled that Williamson would have to give discovery, and therefore answer questions about his eligibility. Williamson has since been granted a stay, meaning he will not have to answer those questions. However, new evidence could potentially overturn the ruling again.

Williamson, who became the No. 1 pick by the New Orleans Pelicans, broke his contract with Prime Sports Marketing to sign with Creative Artists Agency. Ford has claimed the cars Williamson’s family drove and house his parents lived in while he was at Duke are proof that he took improper benefits.

Report: Floyd Mayweather demanded legal sanctions from Josie Harris days after her death

Floyd Mayweather

Floyd Mayweather Jr. filed a legal document against his ex-girlfriend, Josie Harris, days after her death in March, according to a report.

Harris was found dead in her car outside her home in the Los Angeles area on March 10. She was 40 years old. The coroner’s report said she died of an accidental drug overdose.

Prior to her death, Harris was engaged in a $20 million lawsuit with Mayweather over an accusation that the former boxer lied about a 2010 domestic violence incident during a 2015 interview with Katie Couric.

Though Mayweather paid tribute to Harris with an Instagram post after her death, he still filed a legal motion regarding the case.

The Blast says Mayweather filed a motion days after Harris’ death seeking $9,000 in sanctions from Harris’ lawyer and estate. Mayweather submitted questions that were not answered by Harris’ legal team prior to her death, which is why he argues the case should not proceed and he should be paid the sanctions.

Someone in charge of Harris’ estate would have to take over the lawsuit for it to proceed. Mayweather’s legal filing says they found no evidence Harris had a will or trust.

Kyle Hadala says he was protecting friend when he sucker punched Dallas Goedert

The man who punched Philadelphia Eagles tight end Dallas Goedert in the face at a bar in South Dakota last month says he was doing so to protect his friend, despite what the evidence shows.

Kyle Hadala told TMZ Sports that Goedert and his friends were the aggressors in the incident, which took place on June 19. Hadala says Goedert and his friends had been “harassing” Hadala and his friends over the music they were playing on the jukebox at a previous bar. Hadala claims Goedert and his friends were “extremely aggressive and disrespectful” and then followed Hadala’s group to the Zoo Bar.

Hadala says he decided to intervene at the zoo bar after Goedert’s crew had singled out one of his smaller friends and threatened him.

“They picked out my smaller colleague from the group, got in his face, and made very threatening remarks toward his personal well-being,” Hadala said. “Then one of his crew told my other colleague, and I quote, ‘You’re just a fat f—ing p—y. I’ll beat the s— out of you.'”

Hadala says he was in fear for the well-being of his friends when he punched Goedert, which you can see on a surveillance video here. Goedert was shown in the footage with his hand on another person’s shirt, though it is unclear what intentions the Eagles tight end had. Hadala added that he suffered injuries in the brawl that required medical attention.

“I protected my friend and then was ambushed by five to seven individuals that punched, kicked, threw beer bottles, etc., trying to cause me bodily harm which I received medical treatment at the hospital for my injuries the next day,” the 29-year-old said.

Hadala was arrested and charged with simple assault after he was later identified by police. He is scheduled to appear in court this month, and he intends to fight the charge. Police said the charges would have been more serious, but Goedert avoided “serious bodily injury.”

Goedert had 58 catches for 607 yards and five touchdowns for the Eagles in 2019. All three of those marks ranked second on the team.

Ezekiel Elliott threatens SI with legal action over ‘high’ headline

Ezekiel Elliott

Ezekiel Elliott is threatening Sports Illustrated with legal action over a headline the outlet used on a story.

On Monday, video circulated online that showed the Dallas Cowboys running back admitting on a video game live stream that he was “faded”. Elliott was playing the game on Sunday and seemingly didn’t intend for the message to get out, but he said it before signing off.

SI’s story on the matter said in its headline Elliott “admits to being high”. Elliott suggested the headline was defamatory and said SI would be hearing from his lawyers.

Elliott went on to take shots at SI.

SI has since changed its headline from saying “high” to “faded.” They also added a correction to their story.

“Correction: Elliott responded to our original story and said “faded” referred to a few drinks he had while streaming. A previous version of this story included a headline with an incorrect interpretation of Elliott’s meaning of “faded.” We apologize and regret the error,” the note says.

Zeke has a right to be perturbed by the headline, but given SI apologized and corrected it, we doubt a case would actually go anywhere. His legal team is also working on another matter at the moment.

Ezekiel Elliott sued after dogs allegedly attacked pool cleaner

Ezekiel Elliott

Ezekiel Elliott has more legal trouble to sort through in advance of the 2020 season.

According to court documents obtained by TMZ, a woman who was cleaning Elliott’s pool at his Frisco, Texas home in March has filed a lawsuit against the Dallas Cowboys star after she claims his three dogs violently attacked her. The woman claims Elliott’s Rottweiler bit her arm and dragged her, and then his two bulldogs began attacking her legs. She said she was bit multiple times before being taken to the emergency room in “immense pain.”

The alleged victim says her injuries were so bad she required surgery on her forearm two weeks after the incident. She claims she has been dealing with complications from the procedure and is in constant physical and mental pain from the attack. She’s seeking over $200,000 but less than $1 million in damages from Elliott.

A spokesperson for the Frisco Police Department told TMZ that animal services responded to an incident at Elliott’s home on March 11, but no charges were filed.

The woman who is suing Elliott says she is not the first pool cleaner to be attacked by his Rottweiler, either. She says the dog bit someone else who was cleaning the pool in December 2019.

Elliott’s agent Frank Salzano told TMZ the star running back was in “no way negligent in connection with the alleged incident and intends to vigorously defend the lawsuit.”

Elliott, of course, is no stranger to legal trouble. He was accused of domestic violence several years ago and suspended for the start of the 2017 season, though no charges were filed. He also had a lawsuit filed against him over a car collision in 2018.

Carl Crawford being sued for $1 million over pool drowning incident

Two people died in a tragic incident at the home of Carl Crawford last month, and the former MLB star is now being sued.

The mother of a 5-year-old boy who drowned in Crawford’s pool has filed a wrongful death lawsuit and is seeking $1 million in damages, according to court documents obtained by TMZ. The woman, Liban Hersi, says her son was visiting Crawford with a family friend for a party the former Los Angeles Dodger was having at his mansion in Harris County, Texas. The lawsuit claims Crawford hosted a massive party but did not have fencing around the pool or take steps to protect children from getting into the pool area.

Hersi argues in court documents that there could have been an alarm system set up for the pool and that the design of the pool is “unreasonably dangerous.”

Hersi’s son drowned in the pool along with another adult who jumped in to try to save the boy. Crawford and paramedics attempted life-saving measures but were unsuccessful.

Crawford issued an emotional statement following the incident, saying “the tragic events that occurred at my home will be with me forever.

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Crawford, 38, is from Houston. He played in MLB from 2002-2016 and was a four-time All-Star when he was with Tampa Bay. He was recently arrested for domestic violence.

Zion Williamson’s former agent accidentally sent subpoena to dentist in Indiana

Zion Williamson

Zion Williamson’s former marketing agent is trying to get the NBA star to testify as part of a high-profile lawsuit, but it does not seem to be going well at all.

The attorneys for Gina Ford, Williamson’s former marketing director, filed a subpoena Wednesday meant to be sent to NCAA headquarters in Indianapolis. According to Dana O’Neil of The Athletic, it was instead sent to the offices of Douglas J. Kosek, a dentist in South Bend. The confusion seems to stem from the fact that Kosek started an NCAA LLC in February.

When informed that NCAA headquarters were in Indianapolis and not South Bend, one of Ford’s attorneys, Larry Strauss, responded “Gosh, is that where it is located?”

Another co-attorney, Alvin Pittman, said that the missent subpoena was likely a “clerical error.”

“It must be a clerical error,” Pittman told O’Neil. “We are unaware of everything that gets done. We don’t do all of the typing. Obviously, this is a mistake we need to look into.”

Obviously. This isn’t exactly a huge endorsement of the competence of Ford’s lawyers or the plausibility of her case. She has alleged that Williamson illegally accepted benefits while playing for Duke, including luxury cars and a house. She has even threatened to subpoena Mike Krzyzewski, not to mention Williamson himself.

For now, it’s been ruled that Williamson won’t have to answer any questions under oath for now. If Ford’s lawyers can’t figure out where NCAA headquarters are, he may never have to at this rate.