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Jury Selection in Tony Martin Case

August 2, 1999

MIAMI (AP) _ Tony Martin has left Miami Dolphins training camp for court, where his trial on charges of laundering drug money began today.

The 33-year-old receiver watched as prosecutors and his defense lawyers questioned a pool of 75 jurors.

Lawyers anticipate a three-week trial, meaning a verdict would come three weeks before the Dolphins’ first game Sept. 13 at Denver.

Martin was charged eight days after starring in the Super Bowl for the Atlanta Falcons. After Atlanta released him, he signed a four-year, $14.2 million contract with the Dolphins.

The charges stem from Martin’s longtime hometown friendship with codefendant Ricky Brownlee, who served seven years in prison for drug convictions during the 1980s. Martin’s lawyers were denied a request for separate trials.

The case against Martin centers on accusations that he helped Brownlee spend drug profits. Prosecutors say the money was used for three car leases, and Martin tried to pay $175,000 in Brownlee’s attorney fees with money from Brownlee.

Martin contends he didn’t know the money was from drug sales and he never profited from the transactions and was motivated by friendship rather than criminal intent.

The Dolphins signed Martin because they believe he provides the deep threat quarterback Dan Marino has long lacked. Plus, Miami took little risk in signing him _ all but $100,000 of his contract is contingent on him being available to play.

Martin reported to training camp Friday with other Dolphins veterans. During the trial, he plans to work out on his own in the evening and practice with the team on weekends. The Dolphins took today off.

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