Three men ordered to stand trial in attack on Montee Ball

2012-10-02T20:15:00Z 2014-12-18T13:17:35Z Three men ordered to stand trial in attack on Montee BallED TRELEVEN | Wisconsin State Journal | etreleven@madison.com | 608-252-6134 madison.com

Three men charged with attacking Wisconsin Badgers running back Montee Ball, leaving him unconscious and with a concussion, were ordered to stand trial on felony battery charges Tuesday.

But Brian Hough, a lawyer for Wendell Venerable, who is one of the three men, said police investigating the case violated procedures for identifying criminal suspects as defined under state law and as best practices by the state Department of Justice.

Hough said he could not say more about that at this point, but he filed a motion after the hearing on Tuesday seeking to suppress the identification of Venerable, 21, a UW-Madison student, as one of the three who allegedly attacked Ball after bar time on Aug. 1 in the 500 block of University Avenue.

Hough was referring to procedures used by police in this case when they showed surveillance video and still images from the videos to fight witnesses. He questioned whether police followed proper procedure in doing so.

Along with Venerable, Court Commissioner Todd Meurer ordered Deonte Wilson, 21, and Robert Wilks, 22, who are also UW-Madison students, to stand trial.

All three pleaded not guilty to substantial battery charges on Tuesday at their preliminary hearing. The case now goes to Circuit Judge Rebecca St. John.

According to a criminal complaint, Ball was walking behind two friends when the friends heard someone call Ball's name, then turned to see him being attacked by a group of five men. Two of the men have not been identified or charged. Ball does not remember the attack.

After the attack, some witnesses said they heard at least one of the attackers say "We got nine football players to go," police Detective David Gouran testified at Tuesday's hearing.

Gouran and another police officer, Jacob Conrad, were the only witnesses to testify. Under a recent state law, hearsay rules are now relaxed for preliminary hearings, allowing police officers to testify about their interactions with witnesses or victims. Gouran also testified about what witnesses told other officers.

Gouran said that a witness told him that one of the attackers said just after the attack that Ball had "jumped" him the week before. But Gouran testified that a fight that happened at a party the week before was investigated and that nobody interviewed by police said Ball had been involved in the fight.

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