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Troubled Ex-Bear Sees Case Extended

September 22, 1998

ROYAL OAK, Mich. (AP) _ Former Chicago Bears defensive end Alonzo Spellman has been given more time to find a local attorney to defend him on a felony weapons charge and other counts related to a June traffic stop.

Spellman’s court hearing last week was adjourned after he showed up without an attorney. He is charged in this Detroit suburb with carrying a concealed weapon, open alcohol in a vehicle and driving without a license.

At his hearing last week, Spellman told Judge Daniel Sawicki he had retained famed O.J. Simpson attorney Johnnie Cochran for his case, but was now looking for a local attorney.

Michigan State Police said they stopped Spellman after his 1998 Chevy Suburban was weaving on Interstate 75 in Royal Oak on June 25. Police said they found an unloaded handgun and two containers of alcohol in his car.

Spellman was unable to produce a valid driver’s license and he did not have a permit to carry the gun, investigators said. Spellman, who told police he was in Michigan visiting relatives, faces up to five years in prison on the weapons charge and up to 90 days in jail on the misdemeanor charges.

Spellman has had string of run-ins with authorities in the past year.

In March, he was treated in the psychiatric unit of a Chicago hospital after an eight-hour standoff with police.

In May, Spellman scuffled with security workers at a Detroit hotel while he was trying to break up a fight between two women accompanying him. Police used pepper spray to subdue Spellman, who was not charged.

And over Labor Day weekend, police in Benton Harbor found Spellman napping in his car in the fast lane on Interstate 94. They said Spellman apparently didn’t know where he was when officers woke him, though he hadn’t been drinking and wasn’t ticketed.

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