Friday, March 26, 2004

Jury still out on former football player's assault, stalking case


A jury remained in deliberations Thursday afternoon in the trial against former NFL linebacker Greg Lloyd, who is accused in two separate incidents of putting a gun in his son’s mouth over grades and on violating a temporary protective order by calling his wife and harassing her on the phone.

Last week, Lloyd was tried for aggravated assault only for the alleged incident with the son, and that jury deadlocked, causing a mistrial. This week, at Lloyd’s request, the trial included the aggravated stalking charge.

A Fayetteville police officer testified that he overheard Lloyd yelling at his wife during a cellphone conversation while she was at the Mail Boxes Etc. in June. Lloyd’s attorneys claim he did not commit aggravated stalking because the court order allowed him to call his wife’s cell phone for the limited purposes of discussing their children and for emergencies.

Officer Anthony Chesney testified that Mrs. Lloyd then handed him the phone and he began to talk to Lloyd, who continued to curse at him.

“He said he was a grown man and he was going to do what he wanted to do,” Chesney said.

Chesney also admitted that Lloyd told him his wife was trying to get him arrested while he had visitation with the children.

Chesney also testified that Lloyd personally threatened him when Chesney was in the courthouse when Lloyd was in court to be tried on simple assault charges that he assaulted his wife back in December 2002. Lloyd later pled no contest to those charges.

Chesney said Lloyd gave him a threatening look in the hallway during a break in that trial and when he walked past Chesney he issued a verbal threat.

Lloyd said “I’d better watch out, he was gonna get me, fat boy,” Chesney testified.

Chesney said he didn’t file criminal charges against Lloyd for making the threat because he told the prosecutor on the case, who then had him testify on the stand immediately to what happened.

During this week’s trial, the son again testified how Lloyd, a former five-time Pro Bowler for the Pittsburgh Steelers, put his hand around the youth’s throat in a walk-in closet of the family’s home in the Whitewater Creek subdivision after spanking him for getting bad grades on a report card in 2001.

Lloyd then told his son to open his mouth and proceeded to put the barrel of the handgun in his mouth.

“He was like, ‘You’re wasting your life away and if you want to ruin it, I can end it for you right now,’” the victim said. The incident occurred when he was in the sixth grade, but the victim said he never told his mother about it because he was afraid of what his father might do.

In the first trial, Lloyd told the jury such an incident “never took place.” He declined to testify in the second trial, however.

Although that allegation didn’t come forward until the son began going to counseling last year, the jury was unable to hear from a friend of the son whom they interviewed Monday and doubted some of the victim’s story.

The girl, who goes to school with Lloyd, said he once told her that his mother urged him to “convince” the counselor that he wanted to live with her and not his father.

Superior Court Judge Christopher C. Edwards ruled the woman’s testimony was inadmissible because the defense had the opportunity to interview her months before trial and chose not to, meaning there was no necessity to violate the court’s discovery guidelines.

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