- The Washington Times - Saturday, July 28, 2001

Two Maryland football players facing charges of robbery, theft and assault yesterday had their trial delayed until late September and likely will remain suspended from the team at least until then.

Linebacker Marlon Moye-Moore and cornerback Andrew Smith were scheduled to go to trial Tuesday, but a Prince George's County circuit court judge granted the prosecutor's request during a preliminary hearing for a continuation so blood samples and DNA tests can be obtained from the defendants.

The two football players face charges from a February incident at a Hyattsville nightclub, where they are accused of beating up a Baltimore man, robbing him of $45 and obstructing justice by threatening him if he told about the crime. Each defendant faces up to 56 years in prison.

Moye-Moore, 21, and Smith, 19, are scheduled for trial Sept. 26. The delay means they will be suspended during Maryland's fall practices and miss a minimum of four regular season games. If reinstated after the trial, they could dress for the Oct. 6 home game against Virginia. The Terrapins are idle Sept. 29.

The players have been suspended since felony charges were brought against them, and they missed all of spring practice.

"We're going to let the judicial process run its course," first-year coach Ralph Friedgen said.

Moye-Moore is charged with first-degree assault, second-degree assault, robbery, theft of a value of less than $500 and intimidating a witness. Smith is charged with second-degree assault, conspiracy to commit second-degree assault, robbery, conspiracy to commit robbery, theft of a value of less than $500 and conspiracy to commit theft of a value of less than $500. It is his second run-in with the law since he arrived at Maryland.

Moye-Moore, a senior, started every game for Maryland the last two seasons and was the team's second-leading tackler in 2000. The 6-foot-1, 220-pound Brandywine resident has been working out and plans to be in condition if he returns to the Terps. Moye-Moore also expects to attend class this fall.

"I'm cool," Moye-Moore said in the parking lot outside the Prince George's County Courthouse in Upper Marlboro. "I'm staying in shape and hope to be back soon."

Moye-Moore is particularly popular with his teammates in addition to being one of the team's top players. He was a team leader last season and would have been a team captain this fall.

Smith, a redshirt junior, seems unlikely to rejoin the team. Last offseason the Fort Meade, Md., product faced charges of second-degree assault, fourth-degree burglary and conspiracy to commit fourth-degree burglary for an on-campus incident that occurred in November 1999.

That case was later placed on an inactive docket, with the stipulation that it would be dropped if Smith stayed out of trouble with the law for three years. Now that case could be reopened.

Moye-Moore's attorney said justice delayed will not result in justice denied for his client.

"We did what we considered best considering all the circumstances," said Stephen Brennwald, who did not see the pushed-back trial as a setback.

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