Aggravated Assault Trial For Marcus, Markieff Morris Set To Begin On Monday

PHOENIX (AP/CBS) —The aggravated assault trial for new Celtics forward Marcus Morris and his twin brother, Markieff, is set to begin on Monday in Phoenix.

Jury selection concluded Wednesday after an eight-member panel was chosen, with opening statements set to be delivered on Monday. The trial is expected to last for 10 days.

The Morris brothers were indicted by an Arizona grand jury in 2015, accused of helping three other people beat 36-year-old Erik Hood outside a Phoenix recreation center. Both plead not guilty.

Two of the other co-defendants pleaded guilty Wednesday to aggravated assault charges.

Police say Hood was leaving a high school basketball game when he was approached by a friend of the Morris brothers. Hood told Phoenix police the man was speaking to him when he was punched in the back of the head.

Hood ran to his car but fell down before five men, including the Morris twins, punched and kicked him repeatedly, authorities say. All five left in a Rolls Royce Phantom.

Hood told police he sustained a fractured nose, abrasions and a large bump on his head.

Police say it is alleged that Hood was assaulted for sending an inappropriate text message to the Morris brothers’ mother. Hood is an acquaintance of the Morris brothers and reportedly had a falling-out with them in 2010.

The Morris brothers could face a maximum of nearly four years in prison if they are found guilty. A guilty verdict would lead to an automatic suspension by the NBA, as the NBA collective bargaining agreement mandates that any player convicted of a violent felony be suspended for a minimum of 10 games.

Marcus was traded to the Boston Celtics from the Detroit Pistons over the offseason in exchange for guard Avery Bradley. Markieff is heading into his third season with the Washington Wizards.

(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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