Aug. 27, 2005
CBS wire reports

MESA, Ariz. -- The lawyer for jailed Arizona State football player Loren Wade wants a judge to dismiss a first-degree murder indictment against his client.


Ulises Ferragut argued Friday in Maricopa County Superior Court that the indictment should be tossed because the state gave an unfair presentation of the case to the grand jury on April 5.

Ferragut said the state mischaracterized witness statements and failed to disclose evidence that was favorable to Wade, who claimed he accidentally shot former ASU defensive back Brandon Falkner, 25.

The grand jury should have had the option of returning the less severe charges of manslaughter or negligent homicide because evidence shows the shooting was an accident, according to Ferragut.

Wade, a 21-year-old tailback from Los Angeles, is being held on $1 million bond.

He is accused of fatally shooting Falkner outside a Scottsdale nightclub on March 26 when he reportedly became angry about Falkner speaking with his girlfriend.

If convicted of first-degree murder, authorities said Wade could face life in prison with or without the chance for parole after 25 years.

Ferragut said a Scottsdale police detective testified that witnesses saw Wade walk up and shoot Falkner as he sat in his car.

But Ferragut claims the witnesses actually said Wade took a swing or hit Falkner in the head before the gun went off, which would be consistent with Wade's story.

Prosecutor Catherine Hughes said the grand jury based its indictment decision on the statements of the three witnesses who had the best view of what happened -- the three men in the car with Falkner when he was shot.

Judge Douglas Rayes did not indicate when he would rule on Ferragut's motion to dismiss the indictment.

The Associated Press News Service

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