|'Pacman' surrenders; lawyers fault Vegas authorities|
|Written by Admin|
|Friday, 22 June 2007 12:25|
Jones surrendered to face charges in a Las Vegas strip club melee that preceded a triple shooting. The Tennessee Titans cornerback was released on $20,000 bail, and was scheduled to return for an initial court appearance July 23.
Jones will plead not guilty to two felony charges of coercion stemming from allegations that he threatened to kill Minxx club employees and that he bit a bar bouncer, his lawyers said.
If convicted, the 23-year-old Jones faces a maximum of 12 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
The arrest was the sixth for Jones since he was drafted in 2005. NFL and team officials declined comment Friday.
Jones' attorneys complained that police had unfairly handled his latest case.
``They gave us a one-day notice to get people cross-country on warrants that weren't even issued yet,'' lawyer Manny Arora said.
Arora alleged that a criminal complaint wasn't filed until Thursday and said defense lawyers had to prod authorities to file an arrest warrant so Jones could turn himself in.
``It just seems like they're more worried about press releases than the facts of the case,'' Arora said.
Clark County District Attorney David Roger was out of the office Friday and unavailable for comment. An aide said the criminal complaint was submitted to Las Vegas Justice Court on Wednesday, and the warrants were issued after 3 p.m. Thursday.
Police did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Arora's claims. Officials have insisted that Jones' case was receiving no special treatment, despite his celebrity.
Las Vegas police said Jones was booked and released about 2 a.m. A jail booking photo showed he had cut his hair.
Jones and two companions are accused of attacking and threatening employees inside Minxx during NBA All-Star Weekend. A bouncer was paralyzed in the shooting that followed.
Authorities say Jones has been involved in at least 11 police investigations around the country; he has not been convicted of any crimes.
Jones was being sought by Atlanta-area police for questioning in a shooting early Monday after a fight at a strip club. Arora said he gave DeKalb County investigators proof that Jones left the club and was having breakfast at an Atlanta-area Waffle House when the shooting was reported.
In Murfreesboro, Tenn., a prosecutor cited the developments in Las Vegas and asked a judge on Friday to reinstate misdemeanor charges against Jones for breaking a January plea agreement to stay out of trouble. Jones was due in court July 5.
``We felt like we certainly can't wait until that case is resolved to move along our case,'' District Attorney William Whitesell said.
The case stems from public intoxication and disorderly conduct charges against Jones in an August 2006 incident outside a club near Nashville.
It was unclear what effect the Las Vegas arrest would have on Jones' playing status. He was suspended by the NFL for the upcoming season due to his many run-ins with the law. League officials had said he might be reinstated after the Titans' 10th regular-season game if he had no ``adverse involvement with law enforcement.''
Jones' Las Vegas lawyer, Robert Langford, also represents two people who police say were in Jones' entourage and who face felony charges.
``When it comes to it, they'll plead not guilty,'' Langford said.
AP Sports Writer Teresa M. Walker contributed to this report from Nashville, Tenn.