Trial date to be set for Garcia, Nelson at hearing

Updated: March 29, 2004, 3:16 PM ET
Associated Press

BOSTON -- A judge has scheduled a May 25 pretrial hearing for baseball players Jeff Nelson and Karim Garcia, who are accused of assault and battery in a brawl at a Red Sox playoff game last year.

Roxbury District Court Judge Edward Redd is expecting to set a trial date at the May hearing, Suffolk district attorney's spokesman David Procopio said Monday.

Attorneys for the players, who appeared Monday in court for the five-minute hearing, didn't immediately return calls seeking comment.

Nelson and Garcia are charged in connection with a fight that broke out in the New York Yankees bullpen on Oct. 11, during Game Three of the American League Championship Series between the Yankees and the Sox.

Garcia now plays for the New York Mets, while Nelson plays for the Texas Rangers.

Paul Williams Jr. of Derry, N.H., a part-time Fenway Park groundskeeper and a special education teacher, is also facing charges in a cross-complaint of assaulting Nelson. He is due back in court for a pretrial hearing on April 5.

Williams has sued Nelson and Garcia for more than $33,000 for medical bills and lost wages, claiming Nelson attacked him because he was cheering for the Red Sox in the Yankee bullpen.

But Nelson has said it was Williams who provoked the fight after the pitcher calmly asked him not to cheer for Boston.

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press