Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Taylor Pleads Not Guilty

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Taylor Pleads Not Guilty

Article excerpt

GAINESVILLE -- University of Florida tailback Fred Taylor pled

not guilty to a charge of misdemeanor petty theft in an Alachua

County courtroom yesterday, then had his lawyer file two

separate motions that could eventually dismiss the case.

At issue: Taylor's admittance of guilt in a Gainesville Police

Department arrest report, which his lawyer, D. Riccardo Paige

Sr., says is the crux of the five-month-old book-stealing and

selling case.

Although he did not steal books, Taylor admitted to being part

of the incident last April which involved two other UF players.

Taylor was charged with petty theft because he accepted a book

bag he knew was stolen by former player Damian Hill.

Under Florida law, a person who knowingly possesses stolen

property can be prosecuted for theft.

"What I'm counting on is it not going to trial," Paige said.

"If one of the motions is granted, it's not going to trial."

The motions -- which will be ruled on by Alachua County Judge

Martha Ann Lott within a month -- seek to limit Taylor's

statement of guilt or make it inadmissible. If neither motion

is granted, Paige also has a pretrial conference on Sept. 24

with Assistant State Attorney Bill Cervone where a deal could be

worked out to avoid a trial.

If the motions are not granted and a deal can't be worked out

with the state attorney, Taylor has a trial date of Oct. …

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