Sitting alone in the small municipal courtroom, a calm Hasan Ali popped his neck and relaxed. A constable stood up and announced to the courtroom attendees, an audience of no more than nine people, to stand up for Judge Andrea Lockwood and to turn off their cell phones.
Ali, a Weber State University football player, was the first defendant called up to see the judge. He was arrested on Sept. 22 and charged with a Class C misdemeanor, retail theft.
Lockwood asked Ali if he was employed.
“I play football at Weber, so it’s been a little over two years now,” Ali replied.
Ali chose to not defend himself in court, and announced to the judge that he is requesting a public defense attorney for his next court date, which is set for Oct. 23.
The redshirt freshman didn’t say whether or not he was going to plead guilty to his charges, but he did say he might get himself a lawyer.
“I just needed someone to defend me in there,” said Ali outside of the courtroom Wednesday morning.
Ali said a friend of his, Yuvraaj Madra, was also a football player who was arrested on Sunday and brought to court on Wednesday. Unlike Ali, Madra didn’t get suspended from the football team, because he wasn’t on the roster this year.
“Yuvraaj isn’t on the football team this year,” confirmed the athletic department’s media relations director, Paul Grua. Although his bio from last year is on the WSU athletics website, the linebacker sat out 2012 as a redshirt freshman. Grua said Madra wasn’t on the 2013 team due to unrelated health reasons.
Madra was also charged with retail theft, as well as possession of a forged document, according to his mug shot online. A records request has been filed with the Ogden City Police Department, and The Signpost is waiting for the police report as soon as it becomes available. As of the print schedule, no more information is available from the court or police.
According to Grua, football head coach Jody Sears isn’t going to send out a press release concerning the arrests. Sears said this was not only a teachable moment for Ali, but for the entire team.
“As more details come in, and once all the information is gathered, then we’ll proceed accordingly,” Sears said. The coach said the length of Ali’s suspension remains to be seen, as more facts need to be gathered.