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Colts’ Muhammad Freed of Charges

November 8, 1999

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) _ Steve Muhammad of the Indianapolis Colts was arrested and charged with battering his wife 10 days before she died giving birth to a stillborn child.

However, the death of Nichole Muhammad was ruled accidental today and not connected to the alleged beating.

The coroner’s office said she died Sunday from excessive bleeding during labor, caused by injuries in a car accident last week.

Dr. John Pless, of Indiana University forensics, said the injuries Mrs. Muhammad received in the alleged attack were to her back and arm and were ``no bigger than a dime and not significant.″

Rather, the injuries she had on her chest and lower abdomen appeared ``consistent with a steering wheel she hit in an accident last Thursday,″ said Frances Kelly, Marion County’s chief deputy coroner.

``At this time we can say the accident that she had can produce premature pressure and labor,″ Pless added.

Mrs. Muhammad was not wearing her seatbelt and an airbag in the vehicle did not work. She did not report the accident when it happened Thursday, officials said.

The Colts today refused comment on Muhammad’s case.

Mrs. Muhammad said in a police report her husband battered her and her 6-year-old son during an Oct. 28 argument about money at their apartment.

Muhammad twisted her right wrist behind her back, pushed her against a wall and threw her to the floor, the report said.

Muhammad then struck his son, Eric, several times after the boy began striking his father with a yellow plastic baseball bat. The report added that the player disconnected the telephone when Mrs. Muhammad tried to call 911.

Mrs. Muhammad complained of pain in her right wrist, right shoulder and back and had bruises on her back and left arm, the report said. She refused medical treatment.

Muhammad surrendered to police and was charged with three counts of misdemeanor battery. He is free on $30,000 bond

Mrs. Muhammad died at 1:30 p.m. Sunday at Methodist Hospital. The couple’s baby was stillborn at 5:50 a.m., the hospital said.

Coach Jim Mora announced the deaths following the Colts’ 25-17 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs.

Mora said Mrs. Muhammad went to the hospital Saturday and her husband, listed as inactive for the game, spent the night at the hospital.

Muhammad is a 26-year-old rookie defensive back out of Fresno State. He played in the Colts’ first seven games, with one start.

He signed with the Colts in February as a free agent after a season with the British Columbia Lions of the Canadian Football League.

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