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The trial of Marcus and Markieff Morris continues Wednesday in Phoenix, Arizona. Prosecutors say the twins, both professional basketball players, beat up 36-year-old Erik Hood outside a recreation center on Jan. 24, 2015.
The defendants were friends with the alleged victim for years, but police say they had a falling out over text messages Hood sent to the twins’ mother. This feud culminated in the alleged 2015 attack. Hood told cops he was talking to a friend of the Morris brothers when he was attacked from behind. The twins and three other men punched and kicked him as he tried to escape, Hood said. Investigators claim the alleged assailants escaped in a Rolls Royce, while Hood said he sustained broken nose and bruises to the head. The other three alleged attackers were also charged. Two pleaded guilty last week, and the third man Gerald Bowman stands trial with the brothers.
The defense blames the attack on on Julius Kane and Christopher Melendez, the men who pleaded guilty. They claim Hood pinned the attack on the Morris brothers because they were rich, and he thought he could make money off the allegation.
The alleged victim returned to the stand Tuesday to face cross-examination by the defense. He insisted there was no romantic relationship between him and the Morris’ twins mother. He also insisted that he did not become friends with the defendants because of the chance they’d make it to the NBA.
Defense lawyer Timothy Eckstein, Marcus Morris’ attorney, pressed Hood about text messages in which he said he would demand millions from the twins over the alleged assault.
#MorrisBros victim texted others about demanding at least $7M from NBA players Marcus and Markieff Morris over alleged assault in Phoenix.
— Aaron Keller (@AKellerLawNewz) September 19, 2017
Hood said on the stand that he didn’t text about wanting a settlement from Kane because Kane was “peon.”
The twins are facing two counts each of aggravated assault. If convicted, they’d be suspended for at least 10 games under NBA policy because this is a violent felony. Marcus Morris joined the Boston Celtics this off-season, and Markieff Morris is a forward for the Washington Wizards. Missing games is the least of their worries, though: they also face up to four years in prison.
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