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EVANS MILLS — The defense attorney for Indian River baseball coach Lloyd Kevin Smith claimed there was video of the alleged chokehold that showed there was “no criminal intent” in the April incident that left a player with a concussion.
“We’re not going to settle for anything less than dismissal,” said Anthony M. Neddo. “We want the jury to see it and decide.”
Mr. Neddo said the video taken during the April 7 incident showed a number of witnesses. He said an adult staff member, whose identity he could not confirm, walked by several times as Mr. Smith showed the player how to do the move.
“The kid asked my client to show him how to do this move,” he said. “There was no criminal intent for what happened.”
Mr. Smith, charged with second-degree reckless endangerment and endangering the welfare of a child, appeared in LeRay Town Court Wednesday afternoon. He declined to speak with the Times following the hearing.
During the hearing, Mr. Neddo argued to LeRay Town Justice Larry G. Covell that a stay-away order filed against Mr. Smith should be dismissed. Mr. Neddo told the justice the boy involved in the incident had showed up to Mr. Smith’s place of employment and had caused a disturbance.
Another hearing on the order was scheduled for August.
Mr. Neddo said Mr. Smith was fighting for his reputation.
“Nobody wants to be accused of something they didn’t do,” he said. “It weighs heavily on him.”
Earlier this month, a Jefferson County grand jury declined to issue felony charges against Mr. Smith, pushing the case back to the town court.
State police said the incident took place between the end of the school day and the start of practice on April 7 as two players were wrestling in the locker room.
Mr. Smith, 46, allegedly offered to show one of the players how to properly perform the chokehold move.
As the mixed martial arts move was made, the unnamed player lost consciousness and fell to the ground, striking his head on a glass and metal door.
The player regained consciousness and went to practice. However, the player later told his parents he was feeling nauseous, so he was taken to Samaritan Medical Center.
He was diagnosed with a concussion and received treatment for a few abrasions.
The incident drew attention from regional and national sports websites, including Bleacher Report and Deadspin.
In the aftermath, some parents defended Mr. Smith, with one stating he would trust the coach with his son’s life.
The case was moved to LeRay after the justices in Philadelphia Town Court recused themselves due to their employment at the school district.