This week kicked off the momentous trial in which prosecutors allege that defensive back Alfonzo Dennard punched police officer Ben Kopsa of Lincoln, Ne. in the jaw, resisted arrest, and later assaulted another Lincoln man just days before the 2012 NFL Draft. The charge is a felony and punishable by up to five years in prison if Dennard is found guilty, putting his brief NFL career at risk.
During Tuesday's court proceedings, Kopsa had this to say:
"I realized I had my hands full — and there was nobody else with me," Kopsa said, via the Omaha World Herald.
"Did it hurt?" asked prosecutor Matt Acton.
"Yes," Kopsa said. "On a scale of one to ten, it felt like an eight."
Kopsa added that the punch felt "like a very hard object hitting me in the jaw."
This afternoon, Alfonzo Dennard's twin brother Lorenzo took the stand and testified that he "didn't see him punch anyone" that night. A 17-second video recorded by cell phone verified Lorenzo's presence at the scene. Lorenzo also stated that it was in fact Ben Samani--the other man Alfonzo is accused of assaulting--who threw a shoulder at his brother first, causing his brother to push Samani back. Lorenzo admitted on cross that he and Alfonzo are close.
Alfonzo Dennard is expected to take the stand himself later this afternoon. Nebraska Cornhuskers head coach Bo Pelini may also be called to the stand, although he personally wasn't present during the altercation.
While the trial was expected to be handed to the jury for deliberation by Friday, it's going to take a little longer than that to get a read on Dennard's future with the New England Patriots and the National Football League. Closing arguments are expected to be heard on Tuesday with no court in session on Monday in observance of Presidents' Day.