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Davis to face judge

Pistons center facing five charges from hotel incident

Posted: Friday September 15, 2006 7:13PM; Updated: Friday September 15, 2006 10:23PM
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According to the police report, the 6-foot-11, 250-pound Dale Davis became upset and belligerent when he was denied access to a hotel room.
According to the police report, the 6-foot-11, 250-pound Dale Davis became upset and belligerent when he was denied access to a hotel room.
Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images

At 10:15 next Wednesday morning, in a courtroom of the Gerstein Justice Building in Miami, a former NFL guard is scheduled to meet with a veteran NBA center.

The old football player is the judge who will be presiding: Edward Newman, 55, who played for the Miami Dolphins from 1973 through '84, graduated from the University of Miami law school in '87 and was elected to his first judgeship in '94.

The basketball player is Dale Davis, 37, of the Detroit Pistons, who faces five misdemeanor charges -- including assault, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest without violence -- stemming from an incident last month at a South Beach hotel that ended with Miami police shooting him with a stun gun.

In a courtroom procedure known as a sounding, Newman will determine whether the Miami-Dade County prosecutor is ready to proceed with the charges; the judge will ask Davis and his attorney, Scott Kotler, whether they want to attempt to settle the case or proceed with the Oct. 5 trial. (Davis requested that the case be tried in front of a jury.) Neither the prosecutor's office nor Kotler would discuss settlement possibilities in detail with SI.com before the court appearance.

According to Kotler, a dispute began at the front desk of the South Beach Marriott after midnight on Aug. 1, when Davis asked a desk clerk for a key to one of three rooms registered to Davis' family. Kotler says there may have been some confusion over whom the rooms were registered to.

According to the police report, the 6-foot-11, 250-pound Davis became upset and belligerent when he was denied access to the room, then threatened to fight hotel security. Miami Beach police were summoned, and two officers responded. Officer Sam Velez told Davis to gather his belongings and leave the hotel. "I'm not going anywhere," Davis replied, according to the report, and continued to rant.

After the officers persuaded Davis to hand over his ID and wait outside the hotel, Davis paced in small circles in the driveway, yelling and screaming. When told by the police to calm down, the report says, Davis said, "Try me, redneck. What the f--- are you going to do, b----?"

According to the report, Davis started toward Velez, balling his fists and refusing to stop as ordered. Velez fired his Taser gun, dropping Davis to the driveway, and arrested him.

Davis and his agent, Chubby Wells, have threatened legal action against the police.

Bucher comes up short

Paul Bucher, the Wisconsin prosecutor who in 2000 instituted rape charges against Green Bay Packers tight end Mark Chmura and then failed to win a conviction, was unsuccessful in his bid Tuesday to win the Republican nomination for state attorney general. Although Bucher served as the Waukesha County district attorney for 18 years, he got barely 40 percent of the vote in losing the primary to former federal prosecutor J.B. Van Hollen.

Chmura got into trouble when he joined teenagers in a post-prom party -- there was underage drinking and frolicking in a hot tub -- at a friend's home in Hartland, Wis. One of the teenagers later accused Chmura of rape, claiming he had attacked her in a bathroom. Despite inconsistencies in the accuser's story, Bucher filed charges against Chmura and the case went to trial. After just over two hours of deliberation, the jury found Chmura not guilty.

Bucher, 51, is now considering a career in law enforcement, teaching or private practice.