|Penn St. judicial panel clears defensive tackle in campus fight|
|Written by Admin|
|Thursday, 06 March 2008 11:48|
The decision handed down late Wednesday has no direct bearing on the criminal case against Baker, who is awaiting trial on charges including felony aggravated assault in connection with the Oct. 7 fight.
But defense attorney Karen Muir said Thursday she hoped prosecutors would ``exercise common sense'' in proceeding in court.
``I hope that has been a message ... that they have the wrong guy,'' Muir said.
Prosecutors have alleged that Baker, along with two other players, beat up a man during a fraternity dance at the student union. The victim was treated at the scene.
In an e-mail, Centre County District Attorney Michael Madeira said the university findings are inadmissible in court, and the legal case against Baker will proceed since ``district judges have found reason to forward various charges to court.''
Linebacker Navorro Bowman also is awaiting trial on a felony aggravated assault count and other charges. University police charged defensive tackle Phil Taylor with identical counts earlier this week. Police said Taylor punched the victim as he was trying to get up at the end of the fracas.
A fourth player, cornerback Knowledge Timmons, faces lesser charges for an incident after the fight.
Spring practice begins March 23, though the team has said that all four players will not participate until ``their academic situation improves and any off-the field issues are behind them.''
Team spokesman Jeff Nelson said Thursday there was no change in Baker's standing after the judicial affairs findings.