Wingate accuser fails to show in court

September 25, 1992|By Alan J. Craver | Alan J. Craver,Staff Writer

Criminal charges of battery and false imprisonment against Bullets basketball player David Wingate were dropped yesterday when the woman who filed the complaint did not show up at his trial.

Mr. Wingate, 28, of Columbia was charged in April after a former girlfriend filed a complaint in Howard County District Court.

Tyra Holland of the 9400 block of Farewell Road in Columbia accused him of kicking and punching her and refusing to allow her to leave his house in the 5700 block of April Journey on April 24, court records show.

The prosecution had informed Ms. Holland of the court date through a summons, letters and telephone calls, Assistant State's Attorney Greg Smouse said.

did everything we could," Mr. Smouse said. "The witness didn't show up."

Ms. Holland could not be reached for comment.

The case marks the third time in two years that criminal charges have been dropped against Mr. Wingate, a graduate of Dunbar High School and Georgetown University.

Howard County prosecutors placed rape and related charges against Mr. Wingate on the court's inactive docket in April 1991. That case involved a Baltimore teen-ager who accused the basketball player of raping her at a 1991 party at his house.

Another sexual-assault case -- brought against Mr. Wingate by a 22-year-old Texas woman -- was also dropped. The woman accused him of raping her in June 1990. She filed a civil suit, which was settled out of court on undisclosed terms.

Wingate is to stand trial in Howard District Court in November for a battery charge levied against him in another complaint by Ms. Holland. The couple lived together from June 1990 to February 1992, according to court records.

In the complaint, Ms. Holland said she went to Mr. Wingate's home at 1 a.m. July 7 to talk about their daughter and pick up some belongings.

The woman reported that Mr. Wingate became angry with her, then punched her in the face and kicked her, knocking her off a porch.

In August, Ms. Holland filed a paternity suit against Mr. Wingate for child support in Howard County Circuit Court.

Mr. Wingate, a free agent, is negotiating for a $2.5 million, three-year contract with the Bullets.

He played guard for the team last season.

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