Penn State's Baker, Bowman face felony charges again

Updated: December 20, 2007, 5:43 PM ET
Associated Press

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- Felony assault charges were refiled against a pair of Penn State football players, two weeks after a judge dismissed the same charges at a preliminary hearing.

Defensive tackle Chris Baker and linebacker Navorro Bowman were charged Wednesday with being part of a group of more than a dozen people that beat a man during a fraternity party on Oct. 7 at the student union building on campus. The alleged victim received a broken nose and cuts and bruises in the assault.

Baker and Bowman were scheduled for arraignment Thursday on the refiled charges.

District Judge Carmine Prestia dismissed the felony charges against Baker, 20, and Bowman, 19, on Dec. 5, but ordered the pair to stand trial on misdemeanor charges.

Centre County District Attorney Michael Madeira said Prestia erred when he dropped the felony charges, saying the evidence did not show Baker and Bowman may have landed the blows that rose to the level of aggravated assault. Madeira's office also filed a motion Wednesday asking for a new judge to be assigned to the case.

Karen Muir, the attorney for Baker, of Windsor, Conn., said Madeira's office was selectively prosecuting her client and Bowman, of District Heights, Md., while not prosecuting other individuals who may have taken part in the alleged assault.

"The commonwealth is abusing its authority and has selectively identified two individuals it believes is responsible for these alleged crimes, and is shirking its responsibility to bring everyone responsible into court," she said.

Baker and safety Anthony Scirrotto also face a trial on charges related to an off-campus fight in April in which police said two people were hurt.

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press