Defense attorney says charges are bogus

Updated: January 27, 2005, 8:28 PM ET
Associated Press

TALLAHASSEE, Fla -- The attorney for Baltimore Ravens cornerback Corey Fuller told a jury Thursday that gambling and firearms charges against his client are bogus, saying that investigators were only interested in the former Florida State star because of his celebrity.

Corey Fuller
Fuller

The 10-year NFL veteran was arrested in April after police entered his Tallahassee home and broke up a high-stakes card game. Fuller was charged with maintaining a gambling house, use of a firearm in commission of a felony and misdemeanor gambling.

"The evidence is going to show the reason we're here is not what Mr. Fuller did, but who Mr. Fuller is," defense attorney Tim Jansen said in his opening statement. "Their investigation was detailed to target Mr. Fuller."

But prosecutor Matt Smith said Fuller had a weapon on him while a card game was being played and received part of the pot for hosting the game.

"He was standing around the table like a pit boss ... he took his cut," Smith said in his opening statement.

Jansen noted that Fuller obtained a concealed weapons permit after a shootout at his home Jan. 21, 2004, an event that triggered the investigation among several legal agencies.

The defense also said a confidential informant used by local police at some of the games had seven felony convictions and was paid by authorities to get them information on what was going on inside Fuller's home.

If convicted, Fuller could face a maximum five-year sentence and $5,000 fine.

Fuller spends his offseasons in Tallahassee where he starred in high school and at Florida State. He has also played for the Minnesota Vikings and Cleveland Browns.


Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press

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