Friday's hearing might include guilty plea
A trial is scheduled to start next week, but Heatley's lawyers have signaled in recent days that a plea deal is near. Defense lawyer Ed Garland said Thursday that he hopes the case will come to a resolution at a hearing Friday morning.
Fulton County Superior Court Judge Rowland Barnes also said the plea is expected Friday morning.
Garland declined to elaborate. Prosecution spokesman Erik Friedly also declined to comment Thursday.
Heatley flew back to the United States on Monday from Switzerland, where he started playing after the NHL lockout.
The 24-year-old is charged with first-degree vehicular homicide, a felony. He also faces several midemeanors -- second-degree vehicular homicide, reckless driving, driving too fast for conditions, failure to maintain a lane and speeding in connection with the Sept. 29, 2003, car crash in Atlanta that killed 25-year-old teammate Dan Snyder.
Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press
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