UPDATE: Ball's absence delays plea hearings - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

UPDATE: Ball's absence delays plea hearings for suspected attackers

Posted:

MADISON (WKOW) -- The absence of Badger football star Montee Ball led to a postponement Monday of scheduled pleas and adjudication of two UW-Madison students authorities say attacked Ball in August.

Assistant Dane County District Attorney Michael Finley tells 27 News there was miscommunication with Ball over whether Monday's scheduled hearing would involve resolution of the two cases, and the opportunity for Ball as a victim to be present and make a statement at potentially the final court appearance of the defendants. Finley says it's expected students Wendell Venerable and Robert Wilks will be recommended for a first offender's program, where they will accept responsibility for the attack in court, and have their felony charges dismissed if they successfully complete the program. Finley says if they complete the program, they would not return to court.

Finley says the hearings for Venerable and Wilks have been rescheduled for Wednesday. A third man authorities say participated in the attack, Deonte Wilson, has a plea hearing scheduled next month.

Finley says Venerable and Wilks have provided authorities information enabling investigators to identify a fourth suspect in the August 1 attack, and says he expects further criminal charges in the case.

Ball suffered a concussion and other injuries in the bar-time attack, and missed football practice time, but no games.

Authorities say the attack was in retaliation for an attack on Venerable days earlier at a house party. Authorities say football players were involved in the clash with Venerable, but not Ball, who was at the party.

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MADISON (WKOW) -- Two of the three men charged in the attack on Badger running back Montee Ball have plea and sentencing hearings scheduled for Monday.

Wendell Venerable, 21, and Robert Wilks, 21 will be in court Monday morning. Deonte Wilson, 21, was originally going to make a plea Monday too, but according to court records, on Friday his lawyer asked for his plea to be pushed back 30 days. The judge granted the request.

Madison police say Ball was attacked by four people August 1st. That fourth suspect has not been arrested yet.

There is expected to be a recommendation into a first offender's program for the three men already charged.

 

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