Jackson pleads not guilty on probation violation charge

Updated: November 13, 2006, 11:02 PM ET
Associated Press

Stephen Jackson
Jackson

ROCHESTER HILLS, Mich. -- Indiana Pacers guard Stephen Jackson pleaded not guilty to a probation violation charge on Monday.

Michigan prosecutors said Jackson violated his probation after being accused of firing a gun outside a strip club in Indiana last month.

Jackson, who appeared Monday for arraignment in district court, could face up to three months in jail if found guilty of violating the terms of his probation. His next court appearance in Michigan is scheduled for Jan. 26.

Jackson was serving probation after pleading no contest to misdemeanor assault and battery charges in September 2005 for his role in a 2004 brawl between Pacers players and fans at The Palace of Auburn Hills. He is charged in Indiana with criminal recklessness -- a felony -- and misdemeanor counts of battery and disorderly conduct.

"Feeling good. Feeling good," Jackson said after his brief court appearance north of Detroit. "Just ready to get a workout in and get ready for our next game. That's my whole point: just getting back to basketball."

Police said Jackson fired a gun in the air at least five times during an Oct. 6 fight outside Club Rio. Jackson originally told police that he fired the gun in self-defense, but Marion County (Ind.) Prosecutor Carl Brizzi said Jackson retrieved his gun from his car and fired it before he was struck and injured by another car.

Defense attorney James Burdick said Jackson had fully completed the terms of his 12-month probation earlier this year and therefore was not on probation at the time of his arrest in Indianapolis.

"Stephen Jackson pleaded not guilty, because he is not guilty," Burdick said outside court. "He is doing great. He's a great guy who loves Indiana, loves the team, loves playing for the people of Indiana."

His trial is scheduled to start Jan. 8 in Indianapolis. The criminal recklessness charge carries a prison term of six months to three years.


Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press