Tuesday, October 15, 2002

Ex-UC player Little goes on trial for roommate assault

By Marie McCain
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Donald Little, the former University of Cincinnati basketball center, is scheduled to go to trial today on felonious assault and kidnapping charges in connection with an April attack on his roommate.

Authorities said Mr. Little, 23, had lost $2,500 and blamed Mr. Hodge.

According to Mr. Hodge's statements to police, Mr. Little hit him over the head with a whiskey bottle and punched and kicked him repeatedly. Then, police said, the basketball standout taped Mr. Hodge to a plastic lawn chair, threatened him with a knife and burned him repeatedly with a heated coat hanger.

The 6-foot-11-inch Mr. Little was removed from the basketball team after his April 11 indictment. He has since graduated from UC.

Ted Froncek, Mr. Little's attorney, declined to comment Monday. Mr. Little has denied any wrongdoing.

If convicted, Mr. Little could face as much as 26 years in prison.

Mr. Hodge, 20, of Oberlin, Ohio, told police the 30-minute incident began about 2 p.m.

Mr. Little told several others who were in the apartment to "stab (Mr. Hodge) again ... make him bleed,'' according to Mr. Hodge's statements in court documents.

Mr. Hodge was treated at University Hospital after the incident.

A second man, Porfirio Baldwin,24, also has been charged with felonious assault and kidnapping charges. Warrants have been issued for his arrest.

E-mail mmccain@enquirer.com

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