INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -Prosecutors decided not to file marijuana possession charges against Pacers forward Shawne Williams on Thursday following his arrest this week, but the team suspended him for three games for poor judgment.
The Marion County prosecutor's office said police found marijuana in the vehicle Williams was driving, but felt it couldn't prove the drugs belonged to him.
``Nobody technically had possession, and a passenger claimed it as his,'' spokesman Matthew Symons of the prosecutor's office said. ``It would be difficult to prove beyond a reasonable doubt he (Williams) had the marijuana.''
Williams was formally charged Thursday with a misdemeanor count of driving without ever having received a license.
Meanwhile, the Pacers announced Thursday that Williams would be suspended for the Pacers' opening games of the regular season against Washington, Miami and Memphis.
Williams' arrest Tuesday was the third time in less than a year that Pacers players have landed in legal trouble for their off-court actions.
``We are making it clear to our players and our fans that this franchise is going in a different direction,'' Pacers president Larry Bird said in a statement Thursday. ``Shawne put himself in a position that placed the franchise in a poor light. He's a good kid who made a bad decision.''
Pacers CEO Donnie Walsh was more direct.
``We're not going to put up with any of this,'' he said.
Williams' agent, Happy Walters, had no comment. He said Williams would release a statement Friday.
An initial hearing for Williams is scheduled for Friday in Marion Superior Court.
Williams was pulled over for changing lanes without signaling early Tuesday. Both Williams and the front-seat passenger were arrested on preliminary charges of marijuana possession.
The 6-foot-9 Williams averaged 3.9 points and 1.8 rebounds in 46 games last season.
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