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APNewsBreak: UConn stab suspect to plead guilty

- Associated Press - Friday, April 8, 2011

VERNON, CONN. (AP) - One of two men accused of wielding knives in a fight that left a University of Connecticut football player dead has agreed to plead guilty to assaulting a different person and serve more than two years in prison, his lawyer told The Associated Press.

Hakim Muhammad, 22, of Bloomfield, is expected to take a plea deal Friday in Rockville Superior Court.

His lawyer, Gerald Klein, told the AP that Muhammad will plead guilty to second-degree assault and another charge in the wounding of former UConn player Brian Parker. During the October 2009 fight on the Storrs campus, another man stabbed Parker's teammate, Jasper Howard, to death.

Parker suffered a minor stab wound in the back.

Twenty-two-year-old John Lomax III, also of Bloomfield, pleaded guilty to manslaughter in Howard's death and was sentenced last month to 18 years in prison. Several other people were charged in connection with the fight and await sentencing.

Police say the fighting was sparked by disparaging comments Parker made about a woman at a school-sponsored dance at the Student Union attended by hundreds of people.

Witnesses told police, according to an arrest warrant affidavit, that a group including Howard and a group including Lomax and another defendant, Johnny Hood, confronted one another outside the Student Union and punches were thrown.

Several football players, including Howard, walked away to a spot near UConn's basketball arena, while Lomax and another man went back to their car and armed themselves, police said.

Another fight involving several people broke out several minutes later in front of the arena. Witnesses said that's when Lomax slashed Howard in the abdomen.

None of the football players was arrested.

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