Vinnie Jones Trial Continues To Friday
May 14, 2009, 5:54 PM
The trial of a Hollywood actor and international soccer star accused of assaulting a man in a Sioux Falls bar got underway Thursday.
It took the entire morning to seat a jury. The attorney for Vinnie Jones questioned prospective jurors about their knowledge of the case, how they felt about alcohol and bars and their views on hunting.
Just before noon, the jury of nine women and three men chosen were ready for opening statements.
Jones is known for his soccer skills and various parts on the big screen. But in Sioux Falls, he might be best known for his part in a December fight at Wiley's Tavern.
In opening statements, attorneys for Jones made it clear they plan to argue the 6'2" England native was only defending himself when the fight broke out. They say Juan Trevino-Barrera was the one in the wrong because he was heckeling Jones and was friends with the two men who originally hit Jones with glass bottles. Jones' attorney, Peter Wold, went on to say this is a money making plan for Barrera, who already sold his story to a tabloid, and only hopes a conviction will make the story more profitable.
The prosecution said Barrera was leaving the bathroom when he walked down a hallway and an already bloody Jones punched him. The prosecution denied Barrera raised a glass to threaten Jones and says it was Jones who acted aggressive and sparked the fight.
The prosecution called four witnesses Thursday, including Barrera, two Sioux Falls Police Officers and the manager of Wiley's.
The defense called the man who picked up Jones from the airport and drove him around town that night.
Then court recessed for the day.
Jones is faces multiple counts of simple assault, which is a misdemeanor.
The case is expected to wrap up Friday.
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