Work in Sports
Trial date set
Broncos' Smith pleads innocent to wife-beating charges
Posted: Thursday February 03, 2000 09:44 AM
Smith on Wednesday entered the plea during an appearance in Douglas County court, after which his lawyer, Cris Campbell, issued a brief statement.
Smith's wife, Jami Mourglia-Smith, "has consistently stated ... that this did not happen and she lied about it," said Campbell.
"But still the district attorney's office is moving forward with this case thinking that Miss Mourglia is a battered wife and a victim of abuse," Campbell said. "They think she's the typical battered wife and needs the help of the state to get out of her situation."
Mourglia-Smith, who has been with Smith for seven years and has two children with him, told police her husband threw her around, banged her head on the floor and choked her during an argument over who would get custody of their children after their divorce is finalized, according to a police report.
Smith, the leading wide receiver for the Broncos for the past two seasons, surrendered to police Jan. 24 after Parker police filed charges of third-degree assault and harassment.
According to Colorado law, once an allegation of abuse is raised, "someone has to get arrested," Campbell said.
Parker police reported that Mourglia-Smith had a swollen cheek but declined treatment and urged police not to press charges. She even asked police to arrest her, saying she had lied to police about the beatings.
Last week, an arrest affidavit released by the 18th Judicial District Attorney's Office detailed the abuse Mourglia-Smith had described to police.
"The information released by the district attorney's office is at best inaccurate and, more accurately, is false," said Shane Edgington, a lawyer representing the Smith family. "Jami absolutely denies the abuse."
A temporary restraining order against Smith has been lifted at Mourglia-Smith's request, Edgington said.
Both Smith and his wife declined to comment.
A jury trial has been scheduled for May 8.