Ex-Bear Spellman Must Stand Trial
Oct. 02, 1998
ROYAL OAK, Mich. (AP) _ Former Chicago Bears defensive end Alonzo Spellman was ordered Friday to stand trial on a felony charge of carrying a concealed weapon.
Oakland County District Judge Daniel Sawicki also refused to dismiss misdemeanor charges against Spellman of having open alcohol in a vehicle and driving without a license.
Attorney Milton Henry said he would try to have all the charges dismissed, and accused authorities of tampering with evidence to strengthen their case.
``We seem to have gotten to a place that we have to make a show out of anyone who has any celebrity,'' Henry said.
If convicted, Spellman faces up to five years in prison on the weapon charge and up to 90 days in jail on the misdemeanor charges.
During a preliminary hearing Friday, Michigan State Police Trooper Mark Thompson testified that after he stopped Spellman on an interstate highway June 25, Spellman failed to produce his driver's license. Thompson gave him a sobriety test and noticed half-empty wine bottles and a gun case.
Thompson said the gun case contained a .357-caliber semiautomatic handgun and a bullet _ making it a concealed weapon. Spellman passed the sobriety test.
Spellman testified had just legally bought the gun and denied there was a bullet in the case.
He admitted that his license had been revoked in Illinois and that _ despite his lawyer's questioning of the trooper _ there was an open bottle of alcohol.
Henry said the case had cost Spellman a million-dollar contract with the Jacksonville Jaguars.
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.
And over Labor Day weekend, police in Benton Harbor found Spellman napping in his car on an Interstate. He hadn't been drinking and wasn't ticketed.