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Judge grants continuance in Horton assault trial

Wednesday, July 23, 2008 | 12:13 p.m. CDT; updated 7:29 p.m. CST, Friday, February 19, 2010

COLUMBIA — Former MU basketball player Jason Horton’s trial for third-degree assault in connection with a fight last January at Athena Nightclub was delayed so the defense can gather further discovery evidence. The trial was scheduled to start Wednesday.

Boone County Associate Circuit Court Judge Deborah Daniels issued a six-week continuance after an agreement between the defense and the prosecution, Horton’s attorney Chris Slusher said. Horton, who returned to Texas after he graduated, did not appear in court.

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The trial was previously delayed for the same reason. The defense received a continuance in April for additional discovery.

Horton was arrested in January on suspicion of assaulting an employee at the now-closed Athena Nightclub.

According to a probable cause statement, Horton struck kitchen worker Raouf I. Abushaala, who was involved in a struggle with former MU basketball player Stefhon Hannah. The information was based on testimony from Abushaala and another employee, Howard Houston, who came to his aid, the statement said.

Horton pleaded not guilty to the assault charge, a class A misdemeanor, in February. Horton served a two-game suspension for his involvement in the fight.

Hannah pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of peace disturbance by fighting in April. He was sentenced to two years of unsupervised probation and 20 hours of community service.

If convicted, Horton could be sentenced to serve up to a year in prison and pay a fine of as much as $1,000.


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