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Published: Saturday, 7/8/2006

Ex-Buckeye Holmes faces trial

BY JIM PROVANCE
BLADE COLUMBUS BUREAU

COLUMBUS - Top Pittsburgh Steelers draft pick Santonio Holmes faces trial next month for domestic violence despite the refusal of the alleged victim, the mother of his child, to cooperate with prosecutors.

While his attorney was convincing a Franklin County Municipal Court judge yesterday to dismiss an unrelated year-old traffic citation, Holmes, 22, sat in the hallway outside the courtroom next to the alleged victim with their 5-month-old daughter, Shaniya, asleep on a blanket draped across his lap.

The former Ohio State player declined to talk to reporters.

For more than an hour, an assistant city attorney for Columbus met separately with Lashae Boone in a back room, but Holmes' attorney, Sam Shamansky, said she wants the domestic violence charges dismissed. Although Boone lives in Columbus and Holmes in Pittsburgh, he said the two remain together. They are not married.

"As DV cases go, this is not World War III," he said. "This is not a woman with her eye blackened shut. It's nothing like that. My hope is that, after we've fulfilled obligations on our part, the government will be willing to follow the wishes of the alleged victim and dismiss the matter in its entirety."

Columbus Chief Prosecutor Stephen McIntosh said Boone was personally handed a subpoena requiring her to appear on Holmes' court date.

"We need to take into consideration her concerns and situation in trying to fashion a resolution," McIntosh said. "But if we truly and honestly believe that the incident occurred at least as she indicated on that night, then we have an obligation to the state of Ohio to push forward with prosecution at some level."

If the assault and domestic violence charges, both first-degree misdemeanors, go before a jury as scheduled on Aug. 15, police have the 911 call made by Boone as well as the possible testimony of another witness.

They also have an affidavit Boone gave them on June 19. In that affidavit, Boone accused Holmes of "choking [her], throwing her to the ground, grabbing her arms, and slamming her into a door, leaving her with bruises, pain, and a torn shirt."

A first-degree misdemeanor carries maximum jail time of six months, but McIntosh said Holmes is unlikely to face jail time.

The Steelers traded up seven spots in the April draft to get the Ohio State University standout to replace wide receiver Antwaan Randle El. Since then, Holmes has been arrested twice.

He faces arraignment on July 12 in the Miami Beach District Court following his Memorial Day weekend arrest for disorderly conduct in South Beach, Fla.

Holmes has two young sons with another woman in Florida, where he grew up. He's never been married.

One Ohio criminal charge, an outstanding warrant for a 2005 traffic violation, went away yesterday after the victim agreed to accept $700 in immediate restitution for the costs of repairing her vehicle. Holmes had been cited for failing to keep a clear distance after he rear-ended the woman's vehicle on I-70 near Columbus on Oct. 18.

Municipal Court Judge Michael T. Brandt dismissed the charge, but he set the trial date on the domestic violence charges.

Holmes remains free on a $3,500 recognizance bond.

"These are two young people who are both successful," Shamansky said. "They're motivated. They don't have a negative history together. It's just the opposite. It's positive.

"He wants to get about the business of football. She's a very smart student at Ohio State. They have a child to raise."

Contact Jim Provance at:

jprovance@theblade.com

or 614-221-0496.



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