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Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Sears' court appearance waived; case continued until April



Former Bucs offensive lineman Arron Sears, who has exhibited signs of mental illness, was scheduled for a court hearing this morning in Hillsborough County but never appeared.

His appearance before Judge Kimberly Fernandez was waived after jail deputies had difficulty transporting him from the Falkenburg Road Jail to the courthouse. Sears was uncooperative after arriving by bus at the courthouse and deputies opted to return him to the jail.

Fernandez set April 6 as the next hearing date. Public defenders representing Sears have a deposition scheduled on Monday with the officer involved in the alleged battery, which occurred in June.

Sears, who appears to be mentally unstable based on police reports and court documents, is facing a felony charge of battery on a police officer stemming from a visit to Tampa General Hospital last June under the Baker Act. The law allows authorities to take into custody people who are deemed to be a possible danger to themselves or others.

Sears, 26, was a second-round pick of the Bucs in 2007 and immediately became a starter at left guard, where he played two seasons. But during offseason workouts leading up to the 2009 season, the Bucs began noticing irregular behavior from 

Sears, who took a leave of absence from the team. Sears ultimately was released by the Bucs last year and never played for the club again.

Sears has been in custody since last month after his second failure to appear for a court hearing. It's likely the outcome of this case will involve Sears receiving treatment for his psychiatric issues, although he's been hospitalized on multiple occasions and was sent twice ordered a mental health facility by judges.

[Last modified: Thursday, March 10, 2011 12:18pm]


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