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Darren Hambrick asks for court-appointed attorney

Darren Hambrick and his brother, Troy, helped Pasco High win a state football title. Both are in trouble with the law.

Darren Hambrick and his brother, Troy, helped Pasco High win a state football title. Both are in trouble with the law.

DADE CITY — He spent five seasons playing linebacker in the NFL and reportedly got paid about $2-million for doing so.

But Darren Hambrick told a judge Monday that he doesn't have that kind of money anymore.

Or at least he doesn't have enough of it left to hire his own lawyer.

Hambrick, who was arrested April 12 on charges he battered his longtime girlfriend and prevented her from calling 911, asked the judge at his arraignment Monday morning to appoint the Pinellas-Pasco Public Defender's Office to represent him.

His mother, Marvis Hambrick, put up the property that allowed her son to be released April 13 on $12,500 bail, court records reveal.

At one time Marvis Hambrick's sons were among the most gifted athletes in Pasco County history. Darren and Troy Hambrick helped Pasco High School win the county's first and only state football championship in 1992, and both went on to the NFL — but neither lasted long there.

Earlier this month, Troy Hambrick, 31, was sentenced to five years in federal prison for selling crack cocaine.

Darren Hambrick, 32, came to court Monday to plead not guilty to a felony charge of tampering with a witness and a misdemeanor count of battery.

According to sheriff's reports, Ileana Quiles, his girlfriend of 11 years, told deputies Hambrick had just returned home drunk from the Trilacoochee nightclub Illusions when he struck her on April 12.

She told deputies he pulled her hair, punched her and cut her leg with a table lamp. She said Hambrick kept her, her 10-year-old son and 11-year-old nephew from dialing 911, the report said.

Hambrick denied the allegations, according to the report. He said his girlfriend started the fight and pointed an unloaded gun at him. He said he had to grab the lamp from her as she swung it at him. Deputies observed a large cut on the back of his forearm.

In February Hambrick was also accused of striking and choking his girlfriend. But prosecutors dropped a felony charge of domestic battery in March because Quiles had changed her story.

The State Attorney's Office filed the newest charges on April 25.

Before assigning a public defender to a case, the judge typically asks the defendant whether he has a job or any assets. The answer to both questions must be no.

Past news reports say Hambrick made about $2-million playing for the Dallas Cowboys, Carolina Panthers and Cleveland Browns, but he hasn't played professional football since 2002.

Circuit Judge Pat Siracusa signed an order Monday temporarily appointing a public defender to Hambrick's case.

But Hambrick must file a sworn financial affidavit before he can be officially declared "indigent" — without the means to pay for his legal counsel.

Hambrick could not be reached Monday for comment.

Times staff writer Greg Auman contributed to this report. Jamal Thalji can be reached at (727) 869-6236 or [email protected]

Darren Hambrick asks for court-appointed attorney

05/19/08 [Last modified: Wednesday, May 21, 2008 10:46am]
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