Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Law and Order

By Ronnie Turner
The Salt Lake Tribune

On the morning of June 22, I found myself sitting in a crowded courtroom in Park City, Utah, waiting on the judge to arrive from his chamber. I had been up since 5:30 a.m., hadn't had my usual cup of iced coffee and still couldn't get the sound of alarm clocks out of my head.

One might wonder why a sports reporter is stuck in a courtroom at 8:30 a.m. when he should be sleeping or making his way to the office. But given the increasing number of athletes-involved-in-legal-issues, it's a wonder that I haven't spent more time reporting from the courthouse. Today's assignment? Former University of Florida basketball player Edward "Teddy" Dupay, who was arrested June 19, 2008 at Utah ski resort and charged with three first-degree felonies—rape, aggravated assault and aggravated kidnapping—allegedly involving a 28-year-old woman.

Dupay, who turns 30 on Friday, was in court for a disposition hearing, where he was expected to enter a plea agreement.

After several hearings for suspected offenders making their first appearance in 3rd District Court, he was called to the podium with his lawyer, Ed Brass.

Original charges were read. Plea agreement was entered. Dupay pleaded guilty to charges of lesser charges of aggravated assault, threat against life of property or property and intoxication. A sentencing hearing was set for Aug. 24. Now the hard part: Getting either Dupay, Brass or Summit County prosecutor Paul Christensen to provide a comment from my story.

Brass politely told me that he would not comment until the sentencing hearing. Christensen did the same. Dupay also had no comment.

A 35-minute drive later, I was back at my desk knocking out a story for the Tribune's Web site. I had already typed up background information of the case before leaving my room and wrote the lead before heading back to Salt Lake City, so it didn't take long.

After filing the story, I resumed writing the high school football feature that I had started the day before. I didn't have time to waste; the story was due in a few hours. My stint on the law and order beat had ended…at least for now.

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