Two Temple football players will appear in court next week almost one year after their arrest on charges of aggravated assault, conspiracy, simple assault and recklessly endangering another person.
Former Temple students Benjamin Wood and Delonte Stancil claim Haason Reddick and Dion Dawkins beat them in a Jan. 18, 2015 altercation at Club 1800 in Northern Liberties.
Wood testified in a preliminary hearing that as he was leaving the bathroom in the club, he saw Reddick stomping on Stancil. Wood said that when he tried to intervene, he was kicked under his right eye and then charged by Dawkins, who, he said, punched him more than 10 times.
Wood suffered a broken orbital bone and had to stay overnight in the hospital, Assistant District Attorney Jason Grenell said in October.
“They had to insert a metal plate to keep the skin and muscle around his eye from sagging and disfiguring his face,” he said.
At that preliminary hearing on April 29, 2015, Judge Joyce Eubanks dismissed all charges against Reddick and all but a simple assault charged against Dawkins.
Before the charges were dropped, Dawkins and Reddick had been suspended from the football team, but returned to the roster before the 2015 season started after a Student Conduct Code hearing.
In June, the District Attorney’s office reinstated first-degree felony charges of aggravated assault and all other charges against the two players. The players received their trial dates Oct. 20 after applying for and failing to get into the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition program.
ARD is a program that allows offenders to go through rehabilitative programs or pay fines rather than go through the court process.
“The ARD program wasn’t really appropriate for this case,” Glenn Gilman, Reddick’s attorney, told The Temple News in October.
The case will proceed to court on March 14 and continue for three days, according to court records.
Gilman said last week while he could not predict the outcome of the trial, he was confident in his case for Reddick.
“The credibility of witnesses is important. They have to be believed, and this goes for both sides,” he said.
Gilman added self-defense is going to be a “major issue” in the upcoming case.
Pennsylvania law requires proof of three circumstances in order for self-defense to be applicable: reasonable fear of serious bodily harm that could have only been prevented by use of force, that they did not start it and they first tried to retreat.
The longest sentence Dawkins and Reddick could face is 20 years in prison for aggravated assault, a first-degree felony and an additional 20 years if they are found guilty of first-degree felony conspiracy. In September, however, attornies on both sides of the case said the decision of the jury could not be predicted.
Dawkins, a senior offensive lineman, and Reddick, a redshirt-senior defensive lineman, are both criminal justice majors.
Spokesman and Communications Director for the Office of the District Attorney Cameron Kline declined to comment on the case. Discussing an ongoing case is against policy, he said.
“The status of Dion Dawkins and Haason Reddick has not changed from the fall semester. Both continue to be eligible to compete in varsity athletics,” said an athletic spokesperson.
Dawkins’ attorney, James Funt, could not be reached for comment.
Julie Christie can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @ChristieJules.
Editor’s note: In a version of this article that appeared in print, it was reported that coach Matt Rhule could not be reached for comment through a university spokesperson as of Monday evening. The Temple News has since received a statement from Rhule, and it has been added into the story.