GREELEY, Colo. (AP) - A woman who dated Northern Colorado backup punter Mitch Cozad testified Monday she lied to police at his request.
At first, Angela Vogel told police she was with Cozad at the time starter Rafael Mendoza was stabbed, but she said she quickly regretted that lie, sought out police and told them she and Cozad had been apart for part of the evening.
Cozad, of Wheatland, Wyo., is on trial on charges of attempted first-degree murder and second-degree assault in the Mendoza stabbing last Sept. 11. Police and prosecutors have alleged Cozad attacked Mendoza in a bid to get the starter's job.
It was unclear from Vogel's testimony when she learned Mendoza had been stabbed.
``I didn't know what was going on,'' she said. ``I was lying to the cops.''
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.
Vogel said she and Cozad were together in the early part of the evening of Sept. 11, but he got a phone call and said he had to leave.
It wasn't clear when that call came, but at 10 p.m., Cozad called and they met up again, later going out for tacos, she said.
Police have said Mendoza was stabbed at about 9:30 p.m.
When police interviewed her on campus on Sept. 12, Vogel said: ``I did what Mitch told me to, (told officers) that we were together, and I didn't say we went out for tacos.
``I went back to my dorm room and broke down. I was like, 'Oh my God, what did I just do?'''
Prosecutors showed a series of text messages that they said Cozad sent Vogel on Sept. 12 and 13. They included:
- ``We were not apart between 8 and 12.''
- ``Please be strong for me did u say we got food?''
- ``U can stop all of this.''
When the prosecutor asked Vogel if Cozad ever spoke to her about stabbing someone, she said he once asked her, ``What would you think would hurt the most, getting hit by a car, getting beat by a baseball bat or getting stabbed?''
``I thought it was very strange,'' she said.
Earlier Monday, Leo Carrillo, Evans interim police chief at the time, described finding a black-handled knife with a 5-inch blade at the side of a road 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.
The trial entered its second week Monday. Prosecutors were expected to finish by Tuesday, and the case was expected to go to the jury later in the week.
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