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Smith Arraigned on Malicious Wounding Charge

July 31, 1996

CHESAPEAKE, Va. (AP) _ Joe Smith, the Golden State Warriors’ top draft pick last season, was arraigned today on a felony charge that he hit a male dancer with a bottle during a bar fight.

Smith did not enter a plea and did not comment. General District Court Judge Robert Carter scheduled a Sept. 16 preliminary hearing.

Smith could face five to 20 years in prison if convicted on the charge of malicious wounding, said Nancy Parr, a deputy commonwealth attorney.

A message seeking comment was left for Smith’s attorney, David Delpierre.

Police say Smith hit the dancer with a beer bottle early Friday at Ridley’s Restaurant and Lounge.

The dancer, Carlton Coney, suffered a cut between the shoulder blades that required 22 stitches. Smith has denied hitting Coney.

David Turner, another dancer, said Smith and a group of about 10 others became angry when dancers would not end their show by midnight, when Smith’s 21st birthday party was to begin. The dancers said Smith and his friends wanted the floor to themselves.

Smith grew up in nearby Norfolk. He played basketball at Maryland for two years before entering the NBA draft last year. He signed a three-year, $8.53 million contract with Golden State, and was voted to the NBA All-Rookie team.

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