Ex-Minot State player pleads not guilty to assault

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MINOT, N.D. (AP) - A former Minot State University football player accused of attacking two police officers during a traffic stop has pleaded not guilty to six charges and asked that he be allowed to move home to California.

Jesse Ili, who entered his plea on Friday, is charged with felony aggravated assault, simple assault on a peace officer and preventing arrest. He also faces misdemeanor charges of ingesting a controlled substance, refusing to halt and possession of marijuana.

Investigators said in court documents that the 6-foot-tall, 220-pound Ili overpowered officer Brandon Schmidt while Schmidt was trying to arrest him. Another officer allegedly witnessed Ili slamming Schmidt’s head into a post while Schmidt “appeared to be limp and unconscious.”

Northwest District Court Judge Richard Hagar denied a request by defense attorney Jesse Lange that Ili be allowed to move back to Tulare, Calif., to live with his mother, the Minot Daily News reports ( http://bit.ly/1hKPHG8).

“My client, after being charged, was kicked off the football team, out of school and is now basically living with a friend while this is going on,” Lange told the judge.

“The state is adamantly opposed” to the suggestion, prosecutor Rozanna Larson said. She said Ili, 21, could come up with numerous excuses to miss court dates, such as winter weather and the inability to afford travel.

Hagar rejected the idea but told Lange to draft a formal proposal for consideration at a later date.

Police said the assault happened after officers responded to a report of suspected drug use in a parked vehicle on Aug 30. Four other team members were arrested on suspicion of marijuana possession and ingesting a controlled substance.

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Information from: Minot Daily News, http://www.minotdailynews.com

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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