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Former Syracuse football player Naesean Howard to undergo medical tests in relation to possible head injuries

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Former Syracuse football player Naesean Howard will undergo a series of medical tests over the next few weeks to discover if he has suffered from chronic traumatic encephalopathy (C.T.E.), the degenerative brain disease linked to repeated head hits.Ralph Cognetti, Howard’s attorney, said Friday morning during a pre-trial hearing regarding Howard’s alleged stabbing that if there’s a link between his concussion history and decision-making, then the intent element of his alleged crime could be negated. In that case, “then we’ve got a tool to use either at trial or in negotiations that will perhaps get a lesser charge,” Cognetti said.Howard, 20, appeared before Judge Anthony Aloi in Syracuse City Court on Friday morning, about two months before his Feb. 21, 2017 trial. The former Syracuse defensive back was dismissed from the football team after his freshman season in 2014. He was charged with first-degree assault after allegedly stabbing Chauncey Scissum and Corey Winfield at a South Campus party in April. Winfield left the program in November.Howard was indicted in May on first-degree assault charges, as well as charges of second-degree assault and fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon. The first-degree assault charge alleges Howard intended to cause “serious physical injury” and is punishable of up to 25 years in prison. Howard is in custody and bail will not be set.MORE COVERAGE:AdvertisementThis is placeholder textTrial date set for ex-Syracuse football player accused of stabbing two former teammatesCourt documents: Howard stabbed SU football players multiple timesWitness details alleged stabbing, South Campus party Published on December 16, 2016 at 11:18 am Contact Matthew: [email protected] | @MatthewGut21center_img The West Genesee High School graduate was initially charged with two counts of second-degree assault.Howard will be medically evaluated next Friday, Cognetti said. He will then undergo a series of tests at State University of New York Upstate Medical Center. The results of the tests will be sent to a doctor at the University of Pennsylvania for review. Cognetti said he doesn’t know many concussions Howard may have suffered, but that “It’s a hell of a lot more than one.”“My client may have suffered from severe chronic traumatic encephalopathy (C.T.E.) — concussions — since his start of playing football in Pop Warner,” Cognetti said. “If that’s the case, that would negate that intent element … Then this (case) doesn’t have all the elements of a crime.”He added: “From our analysis, he’s suffered concussions on multiple occasions going way back to pop warner. That’s our belief.”Another pre-trial hearing has been scheduled for Jan. 17 at 9 a.m.“Maybe at that time we’ll have test results,” Aloi said, and some “other discussions can be held.” Commentslast_img

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