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Bucs Beat

Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Talib attorney will ask for a quick trial

The attorney for indicted Bucs cornerback Aqib Talib hopes to meet with Dallas County prosecutors Friday and said he plans to ask for a quick trial date.

A grand jury last Friday returned indictments on Talib and his mother, Okolo, for assault with a deadly weapon in connection with a shooting March 21 in Garland, Texas.  The second degree felony carries a maximum sentence of up to 20 years.

Attorney Frank Perez had the first court setting on the case Thursday, although Talib was not required to appear.

Perez said he will talk to the district attorney Friday to determine her position on the case. Barring a possible plea agreement, Perez said he will try to secure an expedited trial date.

“It will depend on the court’s docket,’’ Perez said in a text to the Times.

Talib, 25, would obviously prefer to have his case settled sooner than later so as not to jeopardize his football career.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said players are still held to the league’s code of conduct during the ongoing labor dispute.

Talib, who was suspended one game last season for assaulting a St. Petersburg cab driver in 2009, apparently was aware of his predicament during the shooting incident when he yelled, “you’re going to make me throw away my career,’’ as he attempted to pistol whip Shannon Billings, the live-in boyfriend of his sister, Saran, according to an arrest affidavit.

Talib and his mother gave conflicting statements about how as many as five shots were fired during an altercation in a quiet Dallas suburb of Garland, Texas on March 21. 

In an interview with detectives four days after the shooting, Okolo Talib may have provided police with the most incriminating evidence against her son.

Okolo Talib said after Aqib took the gun from her, ‘she did hear a shot and eventually admitted it could’ve been Aqib who shot,’ according to the arrest affidavit. She also said after Aqib ‘took the gun from her, he chased after Billings with the gun.’’

Through his attorneys, Aqib Talib has denied charges. In fact, he told police that he had left his 9mm handgun at his sister’s house a month or two earlier. He said he saw Billings with the weapon when he drove up to the brick house in the quiet Dallas suburb. Talib said he attempted to take the gun from his mother when she fired two more shots in the air.

Billings, who said he obtained the Springfield 9mm from Aqib in the struggle , eventually led police to the handgun he had stashed a trashcan behind his house. The .38 Ruger handgun used by Okolo also is registered to her son, according to documents released last week.

 

  

[Last modified: Thursday, June 2, 2011 8:46pm]

    

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