Steelers GM will not have to testify in Adams trial, defense rests
The weeklong trial of three men accused of stabbing Pittsburgh Steelers lineman Mike Adams has not been “the great Steelers cover-up of 2014,” the prosecutor said on Tuesday during his closing argument.
“This is a simple credibility determination,” said Assistant District Attorney Christopher Stone. “I have offered three credible witnesses. Mike Adams was before you and he was cross-examined at length. He wasn't a surly, lumbering meathead.”
Dquay Means, 26, and Jerrell Whitlock, 27, both of Hazelwood, are charged with attempted homicide, aggravated assault, conspiracy and attempted robbery. Common Pleas Judge Anthony M. Mariani dismissed a charge of attempted homicide against Michael Paranay, 26, of Hazelwood, who remains charged with aggravated assault, conspiracy and attempted robbery.
All three are accused of trying to carjack Adams near the corner of East Carson and 17th streets in the South Side shortly before 3 a.m. June 1. The defendants say a drunken Adams started a fight with them.
Jurors listened intently as the lawyers took nearly three hours to give their closing arguments. The jury will begin deliberations on Wednesday morning.
Although Stone told jurors they needed to believe Adams, lawyers for the three men painted the hulking football player as a liar, saying that aside from Adams' accounts, there was “woefully inadequate” evidence.
“It is perfectly appropriate to consider Mike Adams would lie,” Means' lawyer, Fred Rabner, told the jury. “He had a million reasons to lie.”
Rabner said disciplinary problems at Ohio State University and a positive drug test prior to the 2012 NFL combine put Adams on “thin ice” with the Steelers and gave him motivation to lie about what happened.
Adams initially told police he was stabbed after a street fight, Rabner said, and he didn't mention a carjacking or that one of his assailants had a gun.
“What happens between story No. 1 and story No. 2? Steelers security goes to the hospital, Steelers security meets with Mike Adams, and lo and behold, let's go to story No. 2,” Rabner said. The second version Adams told police was that one of the men held a gun to his face and demanded he give up the keys to his Ford F-150 Raptor, Rabner said.
“Now it's not a drunken melee anymore. Now it's an attempted robbery,” he said.
Adams' version changed again on July 18 at the preliminary hearing when other witnesses claimed they didn't see a gun, Rabner said. That's when Adams claimed the man showed him a gun in his waistband instead of pulling it out.
Paranay told detectives the fight began when Adams knocked chicken shish kabobs and his cell phone out of his hands. Paranay, who admitted he was intoxicated, said he became irate, punched Adams in the face and ran away. He said he didn't know who stabbed Adams.
Paranay's attorney, Randall McKinney, said it is “completely ridiculous” to think his client loaded his hands with food before he tried to “pull off this caper.” Stone questioned why Paranay, who stands about 5 feet, 6 inches tall, would pick a fight with the 6-foot, 7-inch, 325-pound Adams.
McKinney said Adams was “obliterated drunk, aggressive and out of control” when he stumbled into his client.
Adam Brandolph is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-391-0927 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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