Charges include maintaining gambling house

Updated: January 28, 2005, 11:50 PM ET
Associated Press

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- The prosecution rested its case against Baltimore Ravens cornerback Corey Fuller on Friday after a marathon session in which it tried to show the NFL player violated Florida's gambling laws.

Corey Fuller
Fuller

Judge Russell Cole Jr. rejected a defense bid to dismiss the case and asked the jury to return Saturday.

Defense attorney Tim Jansen conceded in his bid that Fuller was in his home April 16 with a holstered pistol while card games took place, but said the athlete was not seen playing by an undercover investigator who spent about 40 minutes in the home before a raid.

A key state witness, Tracy Fair, testified Friday she was there the night of the April 20 raid, and said she saw Fuller play a game known as "Georgia skins."

Another state witness, special agent Tonja Bryant-Smith of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, testified that on the night of the raid Fuller claimed to have been playing video games with his friends.

"He said he had $4 million in the bank and we were going to have a fight with his lawyer," she told the jury of five men and a woman.

Earlier Friday, state attorney Matt Smith held off a defense challenge and was allowed to show a videotape of the raid that included a profane response to police when they rammed through Fuller's front door to serve warrants on suspicion of illegal gambling.

Jansen argued that the language might be prejudicial against his client, but the judge ruled it admissible.

Fuller has been charged with maintaining a gambling house, a felony, use of a firearm in commission of a felony, and a misdemeanor gambling charge. If convicted, he could face up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine.

Several other defendants also face felony gambling charges from the raid.

A 10-year NFL veteran, Fuller spends his offseasons in Tallahassee, where he starred in high school and college. He has also played for the Minnesota Vikings and Cleveland Browns.

Friday's courtroom audience included former Florida State stars Deion Sanders, William Floyd and Derrick Brooks, who flew in to support Fuller. Floyd and Brooks played with him at Florida State, and Sanders is a Ravens teammate .


Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press

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