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The Latest: Jury begins deliberations in NBA players' trial

The Latest: Jury begins deliberations in NBA players' trial Photo: AP.

October 03, 2017 04:55 PM

PHOENIX (AP) — The Latest on the assault trial of NBA players Marcus and Markieff Morris (all times local):

3 p.m.

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The jury has begun deliberations in the aggravated assault trial of NBA players Marcus and Markieff Morris.

Prosecutor Thomas Bailey told the jury the defendants "acted like high school bullies on a playground."

The Morris brothers are accused of helping three other people beat 36-year-old Erik Hood two years ago in Phoenix.

Defense attorney James Belanger told the jury the case is inexcusably tainted by Hood's mentor trying to solicit two witnesses to implicate the Morris twins for a cash payment in return. But Bailey stressed that Hood's mentor did not have any effect on witnesses' testimony, including the one made by the victim.

The prosecutor told the jury to consider the fact that Hood was beaten severely by the defendants and that he wants them to pay. He said the Morris brothers had a motive for the attack.

Hood previously testified his relationship with the twins became strained because of a misinterpreted text message.

Jurors began hearing testimony on Sept. 18.

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1:20 p.m.

Closing arguments are underway in the aggravated assault trial of NBA players Marcus and Markieff Morris.

The Morris brothers are accused of helping three other people beat 36-year-old Erik Hood two years ago in Phoenix.

Defense attorney James Belanger told the jury the case is inexcusably tainted by Hood's mentor trying to solicit two witnesses to implicate the Morris twins for a cash payment in return.

Belanger said Hood lied repeatedly and needed to keep one of the Morris twins in the case.

Prosecutor Daniel Fisher said last week Marcus Morris kicked Hood in the head and Markieff Morris acted as an accomplice because "they had an axe to grind" with him.

The Morris brothers face the possibility of prison time and discipline from the NBA if convicted.

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10:22 a.m.

Jurors will return to the courtroom Monday to hear remaining closing arguments in the assault trial of NBA players Marcus and Markieff Morris.

The Morris Brothers are accused of helping three other people beat Erik Hood on Jan. 24, 2015, in Phoenix.

Prosecutors urged the jury last week to convict the brothers of aggravated assault charges. But an attorney defending Marcus Morris argued multiple witnesses' testimony showed the brothers couldn't have been involved.

Hood testified his relationship with the twins became strained because of a misinterpreted text message.

The Morris brothers face the possibility of prison time and disciple from the NBA if convicted.

Marcus plays for the Boston Celtics and Markieff is with the Washington Wizards.

The Morris brothers were drafted back-to-back in the first round of the 2011 NBA draft.

Credits

By The Associated Press

(Copyright 2017 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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