Terp guilty of assault

2nd is not

Moye-Moore sentencing Oct. 5

Smith acquitted

College Football

September 28, 2001|By Christian Ewell | Christian Ewell,SUN STAFF

UPPER MARLBORO - Maryland football player Marlon Moye-Moore was convicted of an assault charge yesterday morning, and teammate Andrew Smith Jr. was acquitted of other charges stemming from a February incident at a Hyattsville nightclub where a man claimed he was beaten by the two.

A Prince George's County Circuit Court jury returned a guilty verdict on second-degree assault charges for Moye-Moore, 21, a senior linebacker who admitted to hitting Derrick Levroney, 19, of Baltimore, on the evening of Feb. 2. He has a sentencing hearing on Oct. 5, for a charge that carries a penalty of up to 10 years in prison, a fine of $2,500 or both.

Both Moye-Moore and Smith, 20, who were suspended from the team after being charged, are eligible for reinstatement at the discretion of Maryland football coach Ralph Friedgen and athletic director Debbie Yow under the school's conduct code.

Smith attended practice yesterday but did not participate. Friedgen said he wouldn't make a decision on either player until after Maryland's game against West Virginia on Saturday.

"I think I have to be fair to the kids, too," Friedgen said. "These guys have not been part of the team since February, so I have to weigh that."

Levroney, a student at Maryland-Baltimore County, accused Moye-Moore and Smith of beating him inside a restroom at The Setting nightclub, then robbing him of $45 in cash. That accusation led to charges, for both defendants, of robbery, conspiracy to commit robbery, second-degree assault, conspiracy to commit second-degree assault and theft of less than $300.

The felony charges of robbery had prompted the suspensions under the school's conduct code.

Both Smith and Moye-Moore were inside the nightclub, but the State's Attorney's office was unable to convince the jury that Smith was involved, or that the two had robbed Levroney.

Afterward, Smith, a junior cornerback, declined to comment, referring all questions to his attorney.

"We're pleased and gratified that the jury saw through this guy's allegations," Smith's attorney John McKenna said, referring to Levroney's testimony. "They saw that the things this guy said were untrue."

During the trial, Smith said he saw Moye-Moore hitting Levroney. But Moye-Moore testified that he had hit Levroney out of self-defense because of a similar, contentious incident between the two on the College Park campus the summer before.

Moye-Moore also declined to comment and referred questions relating to the case to his attorney, Stephen Brennwald. Brennwald said that Moye-Moore's defense might have suffered from his admission to hitting the apparently smaller Levroney, but stated that he was simply telling the truth.

"Marlon has never denied that there was a scuffle," Brennwald said. "However, the allegation of robbery was absurd and is absurd."

NOTE: Maryland has sold 39,000 tickets to tomorrow's game.

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