- Associated Press - Wednesday, September 22, 2010

LAS VEGAS (AP) - A man has pleaded no contest to attempted murder with use of a deadly weapon in a strip club melee involving NFL player Adam “Pacman” Jones.

Arvin Kenti Edwards entered the plea Tuesday as part of a plea deal in the 2007 shooting that left a club employee paralyzed and two other people wounded, the Clark County district attorney’s office said.

Edwards faces four to 10 years in Nevada state prison when he is sentenced in January.

Edwards, of Renton, Wash., could have faced as many as 186 years in prison if convicted of all seven felony charges initially filed against him after the shooting.

The charges included three counts of attempted murder, three counts of battery with a deadly weapon causing substantial bodily harm, and one count of being an ex-felon in possession of a firearm.

Edwards maintains he is innocent but agreed to the plea deal because he was worried the court would not give him a lenient sentence if he were convicted, public defender Dan Silverstein said.

“It’s not an acknowledgment of guilt,” he said. “It is acknowledgment of, if he gets convicted, the book is going to be thrown at him.”

Silverstein contended his client’s $2 million bail was excessive and alleged prosecutors had omitted favorable evidence during a grand jury hearing.

Edwards entered what is known as an Alford plea, meaning he was not admitting that he committed the crime but was acknowledging he could be convicted and face a higher penalty or convictions on more offenses if he went to trial, prosecutor Sonia Jimenez said in an e-mail.

Attorney Robert Langford, who represents Jones, praised the outcome of the case.

“Pac has been doing what he needs to do for the last year and we are all going to be happy to get this sad chapter behind us,” Langford said. “He is happy that his version of events has been vindicated.”

Police said Jones briefly met with Edwards after Jones and his entourage were ejected from the club after a brawl in February 2007.

Edwards and Jones parted, police said, moments before Edwards opened fire with a handgun outside the club.

Police claimed Jones had instigated the brawl by throwing wads of dollar bills from a large plastic trash bag onto a stage then became angry when the strippers picked up the money.

Jones pleaded no contest in 2007 to the gross misdemeanor of conspiracy to commit disorderly conduct in a plea deal that reduced two felony charges of coercion that each carried a possible sentence of one to six years. The Cincinnati Bengals cornerback has denied having a role in the shooting.

Story Continues →