- Associated Press - Tuesday, February 16, 2016

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Former NFL star Darren Sharper has a new plea hearing Thursday, further indication that his plea agreement in a drug and sexual assault case is off, federal court documents show.

Earlier this month, court records showed that Sharper had renewed plea negotiations with federal prosecutors and was preparing a trial defense.

Sharper had pleaded guilty as part of a deal involving charges in four states, but a federal judge deferred acceptance of the deal last year. He also has pleaded guilty or no contest to similar charges in state courts in California, Arizona, Nevada and Louisiana.

Court records show that U.S. District Judge Jane Triche Milazzo last week also pushed back a trial date for Sharper and his two co-defendants: Brandon Licciardi and Eric Nunez. The trial had been set to start March 7, but now it is set to begin May 16.

An attorney for Nunez declined to comment Tuesday. Other attorneys involved did not return messages seeking comment.

Two Louisiana state counts of aggravated rape against Sharper stemmed from accusations that he sexually assaulted two drug-impaired women at his apartment in September 2013.

The federal indictment charged Sharper with distributing the drugs alprazolam, diazepam and zolpidem - more commonly known by the brand names Xanax, Valium and Ambien, respectively - with the intent to commit rape.

Sharper was selected All-Pro six times and chosen for the Pro Bowl five times during a career that included stints with the Green Bay Packers and Minnesota Vikings. He played in two Super Bowls, one with the Packers as a rookie and the 2010 New Orleans Saints victory.

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