Green#039;s fiancee pleads innocent

Published 12:00 am Friday, November 21, 2003

WESTLAKE, Ohio - William Green's fiancee pleaded innocent Thursday to charges she stabbed the Cleveland Browns running back at their home.

Green was wounded under his left shoulder blade during a fight Wednesday, police said. His lawyer, Brian Downey, said the player was released from the hospital later that night after getting three stitches.

Asia Gray, who has two children with Green, is charged with assault and domestic violence, and if convicted on both counts could face two to eight years in prison.

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''She was in another room when it happened and she called for help,'' said her attorney, Henry Hilow. ''It's also important to note that she took him to the hospital.''

Gray, 22, was released from jail after posting $18,500 bond. Family members picked her up at the Westlake police department.

Green was placed under a temporary protection order, which means Gray cannot be within 500 yards of him. Green has moved out and left his children in the care of family and a nanny at his home.

Police Capt. Guy Turner said detectives removed 17 items of potential evidence in a search of Green's home on Wednesday night. He refused to discuss any specifics of what was taken.

Green still has to serve two games of a four-game suspension from the NFL for violating the league's substance abuse program. Spokesman Steve Alic said the league had no comment on a report that Green may have violated terms of his suspension by drinking alcohol the night before the alleged stabbing.

On Wednesday, Browns president Carmen Policy said Green's wound was caused ''by a sharp instrument, perhaps a steak knife.''

Police responded to a 911 call from Green's home Wednesday morning from Gray, who requested an ambulance for her boyfriend.

An emergency vehicle was sent, but Green was not there when it arrived. Gray drove Green to St. John-Westshore Hospital accompanied by the couple's 10-week-old baby girl. Green was treated there before being transferred to MetroHealth, about 10 miles away.

The player's sports utility vehicle was impounded, and police sealed his home before acquiring warrants to search his residence and SUV.

Police arrested Green on Oct. 27 after pulling him over for driving erratically. He failed a field sobriety test and a breath test. Police said they found a a bag of marijuana in his car.

Green's league suspension came after the Browns suspended him for the Nov. 9 game at Kansas City for ''conduct detrimental to the team'', and the league will count that game as part of its suspension.

Under terms of his league suspension, Green is not permitted to be at the team's training facility, and the Browns are not allowed to have contact with him.

Policy said the Browns are hoping the league will make an exception and permit the club to help Green deal with his problems.

Green has had a troubled life. He was 12 when his father, a former heroin addict, died of AIDS. A year later, his mother died after contracting the disease from her husband.

While he was at Boston College, Green twice was suspended for marijuana use. He was the No. 16 overall pick in the 2002 draft despite being the top-rated back in that year's class.

The Browns were aware of Green's past drug infractions when they drafted him. Last year, the club signed him to a five-year contract worth $12 million if he reaches incentives.