CALIFORNIA, Pa. (KDKA/AP) – Six suspended football players from a state-owned university in western Pennsylvania charged with beating and stomping a man outside an off-campus restaurant will go to trial.
They’re accused of beating the man and then yelling “Football strong!” as they drove away.
Surveillance and cell phone video of the attack were shown in a preliminary hearing Monday.
The victim’s girlfriend helped identify the football players.
The victim, Lewis Campbell, 30, of West Chester, was in a medically induced coma after the Oct. 30 incident, but has recovered and was expected to testify Monday.
Police say the California University of Pennsylvania players attacked the 30-year-old man when he tried to stop an argument between his girlfriend and a player at about 2 a.m.
Attorneys for the players have argued that Campbell initiated the fight.
The team forfeited its game immediately following the incident and the school’s president has promised to review to football program.
The players are also suspended from school while their criminal charges are pending.
The suspects have been identified as James Williamson, Corey Ford, Jonathan Barlow, Rodney Gillin, Shelby Wilkerson and D’Andre Dunkley.
KDKA spoke with Washington County District Attorney Eugene Vittone after the hearing. Vittone says today’s decision wasn’t about innocence or guilt, but whether there is enough evidence to go to trial.
“At the end of the day, he (the judge) determined that there was sufficient evidence to hold these charges to the court of common pleas,” said Vittone.
He also said the video played a significant part in the process.
“It does give us a good indication of what occurred and the brutal assault,” he said.
At the time of the beating, suspect Corey Ford was awaiting sentencing after he pleaded guilty in a hit-and-run, driving under the influence case that severely injured a bicyclist in Washington, D.C.
A judge in Washington had agreed to revoke Ford’s bond after his latest arrest, but he won’t have to face that case until the one in Pennsylvania is over.
Earlier this month, a Washington County judge agreed to reduce the bond for Ford and James Williamson.
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