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Closing statements expected Thursday

OAKLAND, Calif. -- Testimony in the Bill Romanowski beating
trial concluded Wednesday after the linebacker's former teammate,
Jerry Rice, told jurors that he did not approve of Romanowski
smashing the face and ending the career of Marcus Williams during a
practice drill.

"No, I wouldn't condone that at all. That's not what I would
do," said Rice, a 20-year NFL veteran and former Raiders wide
receiver.

But on cross examination, Romanowski's attorney, Jeffrey
Springer, asked Rice whether he saw the incident that left
Williams' left eye socket crushed, ending the 27-year-old's bid to
make the Raiders as a special teams player for the second year in a
row.

"No, I just heard about it. I didn't see anything,"Rice
testified.

After Rice and the jury left the courtroom, the lawyers for each side argued for the admission of previously excluded evidence about a steroid test that Romanowski had failed, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

The Chronicle reported Williams' lead attorney, James Brosnahan, said in court Romanowski had used his Fifth-Amendment right against self-incrimination in an earlier deposition when he was asked whether he had used steroids, specifically THG, around the time he punched Williams.

Attorneys are expected to make their closing statements in
Alameda County Superior Court on Thursday, 17 days after the trial
began and after dozens of witnesses testified live or via taped
videos.

Williams told jurors last week that on Aug. 24, 2003, Romanowski
assaulted him after a practice drill by ripping off his helmet and
leveling a devastating blow that he says has left him
brain-damaged, with double vision and other side effects.

Romanowski, 38, told jurors that it was a legitimate fight among
athletes playing a violent sport. He said Williams provoked the
fight by pushing him in the back after a practice play was over.

Williams played in 13 games as an undrafted free agent as a
rookie during the team's Super Bowl season. He was used primarily
on special teams. He is seeking millions in damages from Romanowski
for alleged battery, negligence and intentional infliction of
emotional distress.

The Raiders have claimed they are not responsible for any
damages and fined Romanowski $60,000. Romanowski was not charged
with a crime.

After a 16-year NFL career, Romanowski, who was released last
year by the Raiders, has a long history of scrapes with opponents
and others. One of his more well-publicized incidents came in
December 1997, when he spit in the face of San Francisco 49ers
receiver J.J. Stokes while playing for the Denver Broncos in a
nationally televised game.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.