After a lengthy series of delays, University of Minnesota men’s basketball player Trevor Mbakwe finally received a trial date in his felony assault case Thursday.
More than one year after the alleged incident occurred the trial has been scheduled for June 7 .
“The judge really wants this to move ahead,” Terry Chavez , a spokesperson for the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office said.
Mbakwe faces an aggravated battery charge stemming from an April 3, 2009 incident in Miami-Dade County , Fla. Mbakwe, who was playing for Miami Dade College at the time, is accused of assaulting a woman who lived in the same apartment complex.
Mbakwe’s attorney, Gregory Samms , said there is no chance that a plea deal will be reached, and the case will definitely go to trial.
Mbakwe missed the entire 2009-10 season after being suspended indefinitely pending the outcome of the case.
Legal proceedings had been stalled by the difficulty of obtaining depositions from out-of-state witnesses.
“It’s typical when you have a lot of people who are involved as witnesses that are all over the country and are in school,” Samms said about the lengthy process.
Until Thursday’s hearing, the last five report hearings dating back to November had failed to produce a firm trial date. The case was originally filed April 28, 2009 .
The Gophers missed Mbakwe’s 6-foot-8, 240 pound frame this season, especially with the suspension and subsequent departure of freshman forward Royce White who made headlines with legal troubles of his own. White and Mbakwe were considered central components to Tubby Smith’s highly touted 2009 recruiting class, but neither took the court for the Gophers this season.
Smith, who has already signed the 6-foot-11 Elliot Eliason to his 2010 recruiting class, may look to add more size to the Gophers frontcourt when the late signing period begins Wednesday.
According to Rivals, Maurice Walker, a 6-foot-10 high school senior of Brewster Academy in New Hampshire, is scheduled to visit Minnesota on Friday .