Friend: McPherson bet on FSU
Ex-Seminole QB, Bowden could take stand ThursdayPosted: Wednesday June 04, 2003 11:19 AM
Updated: Thursday June 05, 2003 11:38 AM
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- Former Florida State quarterback Adrian McPherson gambled on pro and college games last fall through an Internet betting site, a boyhood friend testified Wednesday.
Otis Livingston said McPherson bet on the Seminoles to beat Notre Dame -- they lost 34-24 -- and lost another $1,000 bet on the Miami-West Virginia game. He said the Internet gambling account was under a friend's name, but he, McPherson and the friend all used it.
"It started off with a hundred [dollars], all three of us together," Livingston testified.
McPherson is charged with a second-degree misdemeanor that carries a maximum penalty of 60 days in jail and a $500 fine. A guilty finding most likely would end any hopes he has of playing in college again.
McPherson was dismissed from the Florida State team in November.
Defense lawyer Grady Irvin Jr. said McPherson would likely testify Thursday, while associate counsel Chuck Hobbs said Florida State coach Bobby Bowden would be called by the defense.
"We're going to put on important witnesses," Irvin said. "Hopefully [Thursday] or Friday, whenever this case is resolved, the young man will be able to go on with his life."
In her opening statement Wednesday, prosecutor Georgia Cappleman told the six-member jury there is "a mountain of documents" showing the 20-year-old quarterback bet on sports events on the Internet.
Cappleman said McPherson is "a person who doesn't care how high the stakes get because he doesn't think he can lose."
Irvin told jurors that prosecutors lacked evidence and McPherson became targeted by competing members of law enforcement who "wanted their five minutes of fame."
"Rumor run amok. Adrian McPherson, quarterback at Florida State University -- they wouldn't let go," Irvin said.
Irvin did get Livingston and another witness to concede Wednesday that McPherson's name was not on any of the documents introduced into evidence.
Livingston, however, testified it was Melvin Capers Jr. and McPherson who called him at work to tell him they'd set up accounts, but McPherson didn't want any with his name on it.
Cappleman said McPherson began betting on sports events in October 2002 with Capers and Livingston, two high school friends. The online account the three used was under Capers' name, she said.
Cappleman said the state would show evidence of several phone calls from McPherson's cell phone to the Internet gambling site, SBG Global, several Western Union wire transfers, and evidence from the hard drive of the three computer used.
"Law enforcement has received a mountain of documents from these three sources and we have done our best to pare down these documents and to present them to you in the most digestible way," she said.
County Judge Tim Harley rejected a prosecution request to keep Irvin from calling Bowden or any of FSU's athletic department administrators.
As a prep player, McPherson was Florida's Mr. Football as well as Mr. Basketball, the awards given the state's high school player of the year.
McPherson was a sophomore when dismissed from the football team in November after being charged with stealing a blank check and receiving stolen goods after the check was cashed. Those charges are being tried separately from the gambling charge. Capers is also charged in that case.
Police charged McPherson with the gambling charge in December following the stolen check investigation.
The case has attracted widespread attention and was being shown live by Court TV, a national cable network.