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Old 02-22-07, 06:59 AM
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2 Pacers surrender to police

2 Pacers surrender to police
http://www.indystar.com/apps/pbcs.dl...702220440/1062

Two Indiana Pacers made the short trip from Conseco Fieldhouse to jail early today after the they were indicted Wednesday in connection with a bar fight earlier this month.

Jamaal Tinsley and Marquis Daniels surrendered at the Arrestee Processing Center shortly after midnight. Earlier, Tinsley's attorney, James Voyles, had said the players would be in Marion Superior Court this morning.
Tinsley and Daniels surrendered to police about 12:15 a.m. today, said Capt. Dave Wilkes.
Wednesday's indictments allege the two players were involved in an early-morning scuffle Feb. 6 at 8 Seconds Saloon, hours after a loss at home to Golden State.
The indictment said Tinsley, 28, threatened the bar's staff and said, "I will kill you," then later threatened an employee who asked him to leave.
He faces a Class D felony intimidation charge because someone's life was threatened, officials said. A misdemeanor intimidation charge alleges Tinsley threatened to beat up another employee.
"We intend to defend this very vigorously -- he's maintained from day one that this event didn't happen," Voyles said.
Tinsley and Daniels, 26, face misdemeanor battery and disorderly conduct charges because, the indictment said, they both hit J. Mark Nicholson, the bar's manager.
The indictment means the grand jury, a panel of citizens, found enough evidence to warrant criminal charges.
"I was disappointed, I'll say that, and so was Jamaal," Voyles said.
Both players have denied they acted unlawfully. A statement from the Pacers on Wednesday pointed out that the grand jury -- a division of the prosecutor's office -- had not convicted them.
"We need to give the process time to treat everyone fairly and reach a just result," the statement said. "The Pacers hope the media and the public will join with us in affording the presumption of innocence to Jamaal and Marquis. The Pacers believe due process requires it."
Daniels' attorney Ralph Staples also encouraged letting the legal process play out.
"Hopefully the system will work as its supposed to -- Marquis is a very quiet young man, very talented young man, and he's looking forward to the opportunity to put this behind him and continue to contribute to the Pacers organization."
Pacers officials instructed players not to discuss the indictment with the media, but point guard Darrell Armstrong said he sympathized with Tinsley and Daniels.
"It's our family. We support them," Armstrong said. "I've been in that situation before, so I just support them."
Armstrong referred to an incident in which he was accused of hitting an Orlando, Fla., police officer and resisting arrest in 2003 while he played with the Orlando Magic. The charges were thrown out of court.
Prosecutor Carl Brizzi said the players were not being treated differently from anyone else. Typically, suspects are allowed to turn themselves in shortly after a warrant has been issued. Brizzi said he had called the team as a courtesy before speaking with the media.
"At the end of the day . . . these athletes will be treated like anyone else," Brizzi said at a news conference Wednesday. "The grand jury's decision was, I think, the appropriate one."
The grand jury also focused on the actions of Pacer Keith McLeod and his cousin, Jeremy King, who lives in Toledo, Ohio. But it cleared McLeod and King of wrongdoing, Brizzi said.
Still unclear is how the Pacers were drawn into the scuffle inside the bar, 111 N. Lynhurst Drive, about 2 a.m. Feb. 6.
That night, the bar hosted an appreciation party for the Indianapolis Colts, two days after the team's Super Bowl victory.
The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department report says several bar employees, including bar manager Nicholson, had attempted to subdue a person trying to steal patrons' fur coats from the coat check.
As the struggle moved closer to the exit -- near the Pacers group -- Tinsley and others began yelling, the report said. It is not clear why they began yelling.
The case was turned over to the grand jury the day after the incident because, unlike police, the grand jury can force reluctant witnesses to give testimony under oath, Brizzi said.
Over two weeks, the grand jury heard five days of testimony from 13 witnesses, Brizzi said. Its members deliberated for three hours Wednesday before returning the indictment.
The charges brought another black eye to the Pacers.
Former Pacer Stephen Jackson faces several charges stemming from an early-morning melee in October outside Club Rio, a Westside strip club where Tinsley and Daniels were present.
The NBA's collective bargaining agreement states that when a player is convicted of a violent felony, he is immediately suspended for a minimum of 10 games. The player must agree to undergo a clinical evaluation and receive counseling if necessary.
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