- Associated Press - Friday, October 30, 2015

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - A federal judge has refused to grant separate trials for two men charged in connection with the sexual assault case against former NFL star Darren Sharper.

Erik Nunez and former St. Bernard Parish sheriff’s deputy Brandon Licciardi (lih-CHAR’-dee) are the remaining defendants in state and federal cases in which Sharper has pleaded guilty. Both have pleaded not guilty to charges involving the drugging and sexual assault of women.

Nunez and Licciardi wanted to be tried separately from each other. But U.S. District Judge Jane Triche (trish) Milazzo noted in a Thursday ruling that the two are charged together in an alleged conspiracy. She said trying them together would “serve the interests of judicial efficiency.” She rejected an argument that, because they might mount conflicting defenses, they should be tried separately.

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