Trial of ex-Yanks to begin day of Game 4

Updated: May 25, 2004, 5:44 PM ET
Associated Press

BOSTON -- An October trial date was set Tuesday for two former New York Yankees accused of attacking a Fenway Park groundskeeper after he cheered for the Red Sox in the Yankees bullpen during last year's playoffs.

Roxbury District Court Judge Edward Redd set an Oct. 26 trial date for pitcher Jeff Nelson and outfielder Karim Garcia, who both face assault and battery charges in the alleged attack on Paul Williams Jr., of Derry, N.H.

Nelson and Garcia did not appear at the hearing, as required, and were assessed $500 each in court costs, said David Procopio, spokesman for the Suffolk County District Attorney's office. Nelson is currently with the Texas Rangers and Garcia with the New York Mets. Both players' lawyers said the fee was less onerous than the cost of leaving their teams to appear.

The trial is scheduled to start the day of Game 4 of the World Series. If either player is involved in the World Series, "that's something we'll address at that time," Procopio said.

Prosecutors allege Nelson attacked Williams in the Yankees bullpen last Oct. 11 during the AL championship series.

Nelson said Williams started the fight him after he calmly asked Williams to stop cheering.


Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press