WRENTHAM, Mass. (AP) _ Over the objections of prosecutors, a judge Tuesday excused New England Patriots player Ben Coates from appearing at his next court hearing on domestic abuse charges.

The tight end was not in court Tuesday after receiving permission from Judge Daniel B. Winslow to skip the pretrial conference.

At the conference, Winslow scheduled a Sept. 29 hearing and granted a defense motion to excuse Coates from that proceeding as well, despite opposition from Assistant District Attorney Glenn Cunha.

Jennifer Marshall, the mother of one of Coates' children, accused the player of shoving her several times and slamming her head against the hood of a car last month.

Coates, 28, pleaded innocent to the charges July 27.