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Wednesday, August 3, 2005

Trial over KU-MU banner incident postposted

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— The trial of a former Kansas University student arrested after a dispute with the University of Missouri-Columbia police chief during a basketball game between the two rival schools has been postponed until December.

Andrew Wymore and his Columbia attorney appeared in court this morning, prepared to defend him against the trespassing charge, filed when he tried to re-enter the March 6 Missouri-Kansas game. Wymore had been ejected from the arena after intervening in a dispute involving three fellow KU students and University of Missouri Police Chief Jack Watring concerning a 6-foot-long banner the students had put up.

Municipal Judge Robert Aulgar today granted a city prosecutor's request to postpone the trial because her primary witness, a second university police officer, was out of town.

Gerald Mueller, Wymore's attorney, wanted Aulgar to reject the city's request and throw out the charges. His client starts law school at the University of California-Los Angeles in two weeks and will be hard-pressed to return to Missouri during the fall semester, he said.

The two sides agreed on a Dec. 21 trial date.

After the hearing, Wymore reiterated his lack of interest in accepting a $50 plea bargain to avoid trial.

"Any plea would involve pleading guilty, which I'm not," he told reporters.

The banner poked fun at controversy over the renaming of Missouri's new arena from Paige Arena - named after the daughter of a $25 million donor - to Mizzou Arena after reports that Paige Laurie paid a University of Southern California roommate to complete her course work.

"Call it what you want, it'll always be Allen Fieldhouse East," the banner read, a reference to the hallowed Kansas basketball arena in Lawrence.

Watring - who attended the game as a fan - complained about the banner and tried to take it down.

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