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Dennard guilty of assaulting policeman

Feb. 20, 2013 at 2:44 PM
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LINCOLN, Neb., Feb. 20 (UPI) -- New England Patriots cornerback Alfonzo Dennard was found guilty in Lincoln, Neb., Wednesday of assaulting a police officer and resisting arrest.

Dennard, 23, was acquitted on a charge of assaulting a college student, the Lincoln Journal Star reported. He showed no emotion as the verdicts were read, the newspaper said.

The jury reached its decision after deliberating about 6 hours after a weeklong trial.

"Obviously we're disappointed with the verdict on the first count," his attorney, Terry Dougherty, said outside the courtroom afterward.

Dennard faces up to six years in prison when he is sentenced April 11, though he could be placed on probation or receive a much shorter jail term.

Dennard had bumped into University of Nebraska-Lincoln student Ben Samani as bars closed April 21. Samani said Dennard punched him in the chest, but it didn't injure him.

Lincoln police officer Ben Kopsa said Dennard resisted when he tried to arrest him after seeing him punch Samani.

Dennard said he didn't realize Kopsa was an officer because he came from behind and reacted by shoving with his elbow to try to get away. He admitted resisting when Kopsa said he was under arrest.

Dennard denied the officer's contention the football player hit him in the jaw as he tried to put on the handcuffs.

Dennard had 35 tackles and three interceptions while starting seven of the 10 regular-season games he played in last season. He also appeared in New England's two playoff games.

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