Pack Football Players Plan to Fight Charges

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Three University of Nevada football players accused of beating up a fellow student and fracturing his skull plan to fight the charges, their lawyers said.

Joseph Bwire, Chris Handy and Jonathan Mitchell, all 19, appeared Friday before Washoe County District Judge Steven Kosach.

The men were indicted Nov. 12 by a county grand jury on one count each of felony battery causing substantial bodily harm in the June 28 beating of Brandon Baugh at a gathering near the university.

All three have been suspended from the team. Handy, of Arcadia, Calif., was a starting cornerback, while Mitchell, of Loomis, Calif., was a backup running back.

While grand jury testimony on many key details conflicted, police said the fight involved Bwire's 16-year-old girlfriend.

Lawyers said they let Kosach enter not guilty pleas for their clients because they had not yet reviewed the grand jury transcripts and wanted to reserve the right to challenge any procedural problems.