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Broncos’ Smith Denies Wife Assault

January 25, 2000

CASTLE ROCK, Colo. (AP) _ Denver Broncos wide receiver Rod Smith denied charges that he beat, choked and dragged his common-law wife during a dispute in their suburban home.

Smith was arrested Monday after surrendering to the Douglas County Sheriff’s Department. He was released on $5,000 bond and is scheduled for a pretrial conference Feb. 2, Sgt. Attila Denes said Tuesday.

Smith, one of Denver’s top receivers over the last three seasons, was accused of assaulting his common-law wife Jami Mourglia last Wednesday during a dispute about possible child custody.

According to a court affidavit, Mourglia told Parker police that she and Smith were having marital problems and got into an argument about who would get custody of their two sons, ages 5 and 7, if they separated.

She said Smith choked her, hit her, dragged her into another room, pulled her hair and repeatedly banged her head into the floor. She hit Smith back before retreating to a bedroom with the two children, the affidavit said.

Smith was charged with third-degree assault and harassment and could be sentenced to two years in prison if convicted. A judge issued a restraining order Monday directing Smith to stay away from Ms. Mourglia, 27.

``Mr. Smith denies each of those charges and allegations,″ said Smith’s lawyer, M. Shane Edgington. ``We are confident that once the district attorney’s office has the opportunity to review all of the facts and evidence before them, they will dismiss all changes against Mr. Smith.″

A day after being interviewed by police, Mourglia requested the charges be dropped, but the case is moving forward.

``It’s not unusual to have recantations in domestic violence cases,″ Denes said. ``If the proof is there, it’s our obligation to go forward even if it’s against the victim’s wishes.″

Broncos coach Mike Shanahan said he talked to his 29-year-old player Monday.

``We will let due process take its course,″ he said.

Smith has played in the NFL for five years, all with the Broncos. He has had more than 1,000 yards receiving each of the last three seasons. His 80-yard reception in Denver’s win over Atlanta last year tied a record for the second-longest touchdown catch in Super Bowl history.

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