Ex-Hamline Basketball Player Enters Not Guilty Plea in Assault Case

Updated: 01/15/2013 1:07 PM KSTP.com By: Leslie Dyste

The former Hamline University basketball player accused of breaking a woman's jaw appeared in court Tuesday.

KXLY in Spokane Washington reports 18-year-old Eugene Lawrence III entered a not guilty plea.

Lawrence, a first-year forward from New Orleans, is charged with felony second-degree assault, accused of hitting a woman in the face at the team hotel so hard it broke her jaw.

According to Steve Bray, his daughter Kayla Bray was visiting her grandparents in Spokane for the New Year's holiday. The Bray family lives in Portland, Ore.

Bray said his 20-year-old daughter happened to run into Tyler Pannell, a Hamline player also from Portland, who was in Spokane with the team for a game against Whitworth University.

Bray gave the player a ride back to the team hotel, where she then spent time on New Year's Eve with the other players. At some point, the elder Bray said, his daughter got into a verbal altercation with Lawrence, whom she had not previously met. Lawrence is accused of punching Bray, knocking her to the floor.

When Bray asked other team members for help in getting to the hospital, they refused, Steve Bray said, citing the team curfew. Her face covered with blood and unable to drive, Kayla ended up calling 911 herself, her father said.

"I'm very mad," Steve Bray said in a phone interview, on his way to Lawrence's court hearing.

Bray was released from the hospital with a broken jaw, a fractured eye socket, and a metal plate in her jaw. The family planned to return to Portland soon.

Lawrence was dismissed from the basketball team following the incident. His next pre-trial hearing is scheduled for March 29.

Click here to read 'Hamline Suspends Coach, Forfeits Game After Player Arrest.'