Trial begins in Steelers stabbing
Steelers offensive lineman Mike Adams is a big target at 6 feet, 7 inches tall and 325 pounds, but two stories emerged on Tuesday about who was responsible for stabbing him last year in the South Side.
A trial for three suspects began in Allegheny County Common Pleas Court with the prosecution telling jurors that Michael Paranay, 26, Dquay Means, 26, and Jerrell Whitlock, 27, stabbed Adams during a carjacking attempt about 2:30 a.m. June 1.
Lawyers for the men, who are charged with counts ranging from conspiracy to attempted homicide, claimed someone else stabbed Adams during a fight that he started.
Attorneys Fred Rabner, William Difenderfer and Randall McKinney said a drunken Adams stumbled into a crowd outside the Cambod-Ican Kitchen on East Carson Street and bumped into Paranay, knocking $19 worth of chicken shish kebabs and his cell phone out of his hands.
“When you're getting ready to rob a guy, do you load your hands with shish kebabs?” Difenderfer asked the jury during opening arguments.
The prosecution is scheduled to call Adams as its first witness on Wednesday morning.
Rabner said Adams lied about what happened because he was already on thin ice with the team after testing positive for marijuana at the scouting combine before the 2012 draft.
“Why would (Adams) lie? He would say it because to admit otherwise means that he had been drunk, started a fight and got stabbed,” Rabner said. “It would have been a million-dollar mistake. ... And being out at 3 a.m. drunk is not the Steeler way.”
Assistant District Attorney Christopher M. Stone said the three men “opportunistically seized upon” Adams, “who looked like easy prey” as he stood by his truck eating a sandwich.
“Not all three stabbed Mike Adams. Not all three punched Mike Adams. But all three were responsible for the attack of Mike Adams,” Stone told the jury of eight men and six women, including two alternates. All are white.
Stone said he plans to call several witnesses, including Adams and the owners of the Cambodian eatery, who will corroborate what Adams said.
Defense attorneys said Adams had a blood-alcohol level that was more than twice the legal limit to drive when he bumped into Paranay. They said Means, an aspiring rapper who had just signed with Wiz Khalifa's record label, was sticking up for his friend and told Adams to replace the shish kebabs he had ruined.
“The only person who saw anyone with a knife was Mike Adams,” Rabner said.
Adams, a former Ohio State University standout, is entering the third year of a four-year, $3.5 million contract with the Steelers. He required surgery because of the stabbing and remained hospitalized for four days. He didn't miss any playing time.
Adam Brandolph is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-391-0927 or email@example.com.
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