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Broncos’ D.J. Williams on trial for DUI charge
DENVER (AP) - Jurors in Denver are considering the drunken driving case against Denver Bronco linebacker D.J. Williams.
A jury was seated Wednesday and testimony should be wrapped up by the end of the day.
The weakside linebacker is already facing a six-game suspension for failing an offseason drug test. A conviction for driving under the influence and traffic charges could result in an even longer suspension.
Williams‘ trial was delayed several times, including last fall after he suffered a dislocated right elbow during a game. In May, just as opening statements were about to begin, his lawyer, Harvey Steinberg, won a mistrial after objecting to how jurors were selected.
Steinberg said he was only able to excuse two jurors instead of the three he was entitled to during jury selection. Judge Andre L. Rudolph granted the request and scheduled another trial on the misdemeanor charges.
His case in Denver District Court is the result of an arrest around 3 a.m. on Nov. 12, 2010, when police stopped Williams for driving without headlights, then cited him for DUI and took him to a detox facility.
The Broncos stripped the weakside linebacker of his captain’s title shortly after the arrest. Then last spring, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell suspended Williams six games over a failed offseason drug test. He sued to have that suspension overturned, but the case was thrown out. A conviction in the drunken-driving case could result in an even longer suspension.
Because of his pending suspension, Williams hasn’t practiced with the starters at training camp, so the team can prepare his replacement at weakside linebacker, which looks to be Wesley Woodyard.
Williams didn’t do any contact work at camp until Monday when he worked with the second stringers after free agent linebacker Keith Brooking left practice with a pulled hamstring.
Williams led the Broncos in tackles the past three seasons and five times overall in his eight years since joining the NFL as Denver’s top draft pick in 2004 out of the University of Miami.
Although he has made other off-the-field news _ he tweeted a photo of his new digital playbook this summer and was mentioned in the University of Miami scandal involving improper payments from a booster _ Williams is highly thought of by Broncos coaches because of his technically sound play.
He is still listed as the starter at weakside linebacker on the Broncos’ depth chart, even though hasn’t practiced with the first team at all.
AP Pro Football Writer Arnie Stapleton contributed to this report.
By Tom Fitton
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