Wednesday, March 24, 2004
New trial begins for former football star; stalking charge to be considered also
By JOHN MUNFORD
Prosecutors are again trying former NFL football star Greg Lloyd for allegedly putting a gun in his sons mouth while disciplining the boy for getting bad grades back in 2001.
Last week, a mistrial was declared after the jury was deadlocked 11-1 in favor of convicting Lloyd of aggravated assault. Because Lloyd filed a request for a speedy trial, prosecutors argued they had to try the case this week or risk not being able to try him on the charge.
Lloyds defense attorney protested, saying he wanted to wait until the transcript was available before holding a new trial. But the defense did not waive its speedy trial demand, and Superior Court Judge Christopher Edwards ruled the trial should be held this week.
This time, at Lloyds request, the jury will also consider the aggravated stalking charge against him, which stems from a cellphone call he made to his wife Rhonda last year that was allegedly in violation of a court order not to call her except for emergencies or the children.
Lloyds oldest son took the stand Tuesday and again re-enacted the encounter with his father over his grades that occurred at the familys home in the Whitewater Creek Estates subdivision. The youth, now 15, said his father grabbed his neck, pushed him up against the wall of a walk-in closet and told him to open his mouth. The boy said Lloyd then put a gun in his mouth.
He was like, Youre wasting your life away and if you want to ruin it, I can end it for you right now, the boy said. The incident occurred when he was in the sixth grade, but the victim said he never told his mother about it because he was afraid of what his father might do.
The boy told no one about the incident until he confided in a counselor he visited regularly after his parents separated; after the allegation, the Department of Family and Children Services was notified and began an investigation.
In the first trial, Lloyd told the jury such an incident never took place. He also said he felt his son was being influenced by his mother, who has filed for divorce.
The victim also testified about other incidents where his father allegedly hit him in the head with a metal pail, struck him in the posterior with the handle of a golf club. He also said his father once choked him with a belt after his teacher told his father he had sassed her in class.
The latter incident was not reported by the youth in last weeks trial. Defense attorney Ricky Morris asked why and the youth said: Because nobody asked me.
Prosecutors are also expected to delve into an incident Lloyd pled no contest to last year during which he allegedly pointed a gun at his wifes face during an altercation at the couples home.
Although he retired in 1998 as a Carolina Panther, Lloyd was a 10-year veteran of the Steelers. As a linebacker for Pittsburgh, Lloyd played in five straight Pro Bowls from 1991-1995 and was twice named team MVP.