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Webber Trial May Be in 2003

September 26, 2002

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DETROIT (AP) _ The trial of Sacramento Kings star Chris Webber, his father and aunt _ each accused of lying to a federal grand jury _ probably won’t begin until next year.

Appearing in federal court, prosecutor Richard Convertino and attorneys for Webber, Mayce Webber Jr. and Charlene Johnson said Thursday they couldn’t start before Jan. 1.

The three are accused of obstructing justice in a grand jury’s investigation of University of Michigan booster Ed Martin, who says he gave Chris Webber and his family $280,000 in cash and gifts while the player was in high school and at Michigan.

Johnson pleaded innocent Wednesday to charges of obstruction of justice and lying to a grand jury about the family’s dealings with Martin. Webber and his father have pleaded innocent to the same charges.

Each count carries a maximum penalty of a $250,000 fine and five years in prison.

Webber, 29, was a member of the ``Fab Five″ who led Michigan to two NCAA title games in the early 1990s. He is starting the second year of a seven-year, $123 million contract with the Kings.

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