Robert Barber's case will go to trial after a judge on Wednesday afternoon denied his motion to dismiss the felony assault charge against him.
The felony assault case of Robert Barber will continue into the trial phase, and this could cost the former Washington State defensive lineman a chance to join an NFL team in rookie mini camps that begin this weekend.
In court Wednesday afternoon, a Whitman County judge denied a motion filed by Barber’s attorney to dismiss the second degree felony assault charges against his client. Barber’s attorney, Stephen Graham, argued that there was insufficient evidence to show that Barber caused serious physical harm to the WSU student he allegedly knocked unconscious at an off campus party last July.
Graham argued that it’s impossible to say whether the victim, who, according to police records, was extremely drunk the night of the incident, lost consciousness that night due to his heavy consumption of alcohol or from the blows Barber allegedly delivered.
But in the prosecution’s filing, Whitman County Prosecutor Dan LeBeau argues there’s ample evidence to show that Barber struck the victim twice and knocked him out while also injuring his wrist in the process.
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“The judge heard from both sides and essentially said it’s a jury question, it’s up to them to decide. There’s conflicting evidence and it comes down to what they make of it,” Graham said Wednesday afternoon.
LeBeau declined to comment Wednesday because the case is pending trial.
Barber’s trial is scheduled for May 15. Until then, Barber’s NFL future remains in limbo. He had an opportunity to join the Carolina Panthers at the conclusion of last weekend’s NFL draft, but the offer was rescinded when the Panthers found out about the felony charge Barber is facing.
“All we can do is hope for the best and prepare for his vindication,” Graham said.
Reached by phone on Wednesday afternoon, Barber’s agent Anthony Bendana declined to comment.