Adrian Peterson trial could start Dec. 1
The Sports Xchange Prosecutors filed a recusal motion to remove Judge Kelly W. Case from hearing the child abuse case against Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson Wednesday during his arraignment hearing in Texas. No plea was entered by...
The Sports Xchange
Prosecutors filed a recusal motion to remove Judge Kelly W. Case from hearing the child abuse case against Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson Wednesday during his arraignment hearing in Texas.
No plea was entered by Peterson. A December 1 preferential trial date could be established pending a ruling on Case's involvement. The judge apologized at the request of the prosecution for describing the district attorney's office as "media whores."
Peterson was indicted last month on one felony count of reckless or negligent injury to a child, which carries a possible sentence of six months to two years in state prison.
Saying Peterson is subjected to undue criticism without a chance to respond, defense attorney Rusty Hardin requested Montgomery County courts accelerate the trial start date.
"He just keeps getting hammered," said Hardin, "without the ability to respond."
Hardin requested the judge set the trial start date the week of Nov. 18, but prosectors objected, asking that the investigation into how photos of Peterson's son leaked to media be resolved before trial.
If Case remains on the bench, even a December trial date would seem to rule out a return to the Vikings for Peterson in 2014.
The NFL star admits to accusations that he whipped his son with a wooden switch. The district attorney alleges the punishment caused bruises and wounds to his 4-year-old son's body.
Hardin told the court Wednesday that Peterson agrees not to have contact with his son until the trial ends.
Peterson arrived at the courthouse in a black SUV with his defense team, including Hardin, along his wife, Ashley Peterson, at 9 a.m. Central and was called before Case after more than an hourlong wait.
According to a police report, Peterson whipped his son on May 18. The whipping left lacerations and bruises that were discovered during a doctor's visit after the boy returned home to his mother's home.
The Vikings have placed Peterson on the NFL's exempt list, which amounts to paid leave -- the All-Pro receives his full salary of more than $11.25 million for the 2014 season -- and prevents him from participating in any team activity.
Peterson has told investigators that he also used a belt to discipline his son.
With more than 40 cases ahead of him on the court roll Wednesday, Peterson, wearing a gray suit, sat in the second row of the courtroom to the left of his wife, in a white two-piece suit. A police investigator, as identified in script on the right side of his navy blue polo shirt, was on Peterson's immediate left. Peterson's mother, Bonita Jackson, sat behind the couple.
As charges came to light, the Vikings deactivated Peterson for their Week 2 loss to the New England Patriots. General manager Rick Spielman announced the day after the game that Peterson would be allowed to return while the legal matter played out, but negative reaction from corporate sponsors and Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton caused an about face from ownership.
By Wednesday, two days after he was reinstated, Vikings owners Zygi Wilf and Mark Wilf held a press conference to declare "we made a mistake."
With Peterson on the exempt list, Nike suspended its endorsement deal with Peterson and pulled all related merchandise from store shelves in the state and beyond.