GREELEY, Colo. (AP) - A former police commander testified Monday he found a knife beside a road about three weeks after Northern Colorado's starting punter was stabbed in his kicking leg. A crime lab specialist said he could not find fingerprints on it.
Former backup kicker Mitch Cozad is on trial on charges of attempted first-degree murder and second-degree assault in the stabbing of starter Rafael Mendoza last Sept. 11.
Police and prosecutors have alleged Cozad of Wheatland, Wyo., attacked Mendoza in a bid to get the starter's job.
Mendoza was attacked in the parking lot of his apartment complex in Evans, a small town adjacent to Greeley. He was left with a deep gash in his kicking leg but later returned to the team. He testified he could not see who attacked him.
Cozad's lawyer said another Northern Colorado student who was with Cozad that night, Kevin Aussprung, stabbed Mendoza. On the witness stand, Aussprung denied the allegation.
The trial entered its second week Monday. Prosecutors were expected to wrap up their case later Monday or Tuesday, and the case was expected to go to the jury later in the week.
Leo Carrillo, who was Evans interim police chief at the time, on Monday described finding a black-handled knife with a 5-inch blade on Oct. 2. Carrillo has since retired. Scott Pratt, a fingerprint specialist for the Colorado Bureau of Investigation, testified he could not find any usable prints on it.
Evans Police Detective George Roosevelt testified he found a black hooded sweat shirt in Cozad's dorm room hours after the stabbing. Mendoza has said his attacker was dressed in a black hooded sweat shirt cinched up around the face so only the eyes were visible.
A former detective testified last week that another black hooded sweat shirt was found in a later search Cozad's room, but it had white stripes on the sleeves, which did not match the garment Mendoza and others described. Roosevelt said he found the other sweat shirt after accompanying Cozad to his dorm room and looking around with Cozad's permission.
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