GREELEY, Colo. (AP) -The trial of a former Northern Colorado backup punter accused of stabbing a rival began Monday with jury selection.
Mitch Cozad of Wheatland, Wyo., is charged with attempted first-degree murder and second-degree assault in an attack on starter Rafael Mendoza.
The judge said at least 250 people are in the pool of prospective jurors. All of them filled out a form, then the judge and attorneys for both sides began questioning them one-by-one in the judge's chambers.
One of Cozad's defense attorneys, Shannon Lyons, said, ``We're excluding the people who have problem issues, some who have very strong feelings about the case.''
Cozad is accused of ambushing Mendoza in a dimly lit parking lot outside Mendoza's apartment on Sept. 11. Mendoza suffered a 3- to 5-inch-deep wound in his kicking leg.
Cozad's aunt, Jill Moody of San Antonio, traveled to Greeley for the opening of his trial.
``I just want you to know he's a wonderful young man,'' she said.
Mendoza has returned to the team and is going through rehab this summer.

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