Iowa man to plead guilty

Updated: October 22, 2003, 10:45 AM ET
Associated Press

DENVER -- An Iowa college student charged with leaving a profanity-laced death threat on the answering machine of Kobe Bryant's accuser has agreed to plead guilty.

John Roche, 22, is accused of leaving a profanity-laced message on the woman's answering machine July 27, threatening to assault her with a coat hanger and repeatedly vowing to kill her.

He pleaded not guilty on Sept. 2 but said in court papers made available Tuesday he would change his plea. A hearing was scheduled for Nov. 24.

Roche is charged with making a threatening telephone call across state lines, which carries a sentence of up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Prosecutors would not say whether Roche will plead guilty to the original charge or a different one. Roche's lawyer, Nathan Chambers, did not return an after-hours telephone message.

Roche was a student at the University of Iowa at the time of the alleged threat but withdrew and moved to his parents' home in Davenport, Iowa.

Bryant, 25, is charged with sexually assaulting a 19-year-old Colorado resort employee June 30. A judge ordered Bryant to stand trial on Tuesday, but no date has been sent.

Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press