GREELEY, Colo. (AP) - A 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.
The 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 suffered a deep gash in his kicking leg but later returned to the team. He testified he could not see who attacked him.
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. Prosecutors did not immediately try to link the knife to the stabbing.
Cozad's attorney claimed that 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 on Monday. Prosecutors were expected to wrap up their case later Monday or on Tuesday, and the case was expected to go to the jury later in the week.

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