49ers player Aldon Smith pleads not guilty on weapons charges
SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- San Francisco 49ers linebacker, Aldon Smith was in court Tuesday to face felony weapons charges. Smith pleaded not guilty to owning three assault weapons that are illegal in California.
It took only a few minutes for Smith's attorney to enter a not guilty plea on behalf of his client. Smith also signed a document allowing his lawyer to continue with the court proceedings without him, allowing the star defender to continue playing for the team.
Brian Buckelew is the Deputy District Attorney in the case.
"It's not uncommon to work around someone's schedule and it's not uncommon to have a delay like this in the beginning of the case," he said.
That's because the incident happened in June 2012. Smith is charged with owning three assault weapons that are illegal in California but not in other states.
Sheriff's deputies were called to Smith's home during a party after shots were fired by Smith and another guest. According to investigators, Smith was stabbed by a gang member who had crashed the party. Deputies found the rifles in his home.
"I'm not at liberty to answer any question at this time; however Aldon is very interested in answering to these charges. And, you have to understand this is a process," said Smith's attorney Josh Bentley.
The district attorney's office says it's too early to talk about a possible plea bargain.
"Once Aldon and his attorney have seen all the information, seen all the discovery, we'll have a meaningful discussion and figure out where to go next," said Buckelew.
But Smith's legal troubles aren't confined to this case. He will be back in court on November 19 to face DUI charges. Investigators say Smith crashed his car into a tree in a neighborhood in San Jose back in September.
Since then, Smith has been in rehab and has been noticeably absent from the team, until last week when he played against the Carolina Panthers. Smith is expected to be on the field this Sunday in New Orleans.
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