ShareThis Page

Ohio domestic violence trial starts for Steelers' Davenport

Tony LaRussa
| Saturday, April 5, 2008

Steelers running back Najeh Davenport went on trial Friday in connection with an October domestic violence incident stemming from a child custody dispute.

The trial in Cleveland Municipal Courts is expected last several days, court officials said.

Davenport, 29, was charged in connection with an Oct. 4 child custody dispute with Anita Person, 27, of Cleveland, the mother of their son, 5. Davenport faces child endangerment and unlawful restraint charges.

Person told police Davenport punched and choked her when she removed their son from his vehicle because he threatened to not return the child. Davenport called police following the altercation and told them he was supposed to have his son for the weekend, but Person took the child away from him.

A threat to a potential witness who spoke to the media prior to the trial prompted the judge to issue an order prohibiting news organizations from showing the faces of four witnesses who are expected to testify, according to a spokesman for Cleveland Municipal Courts.

The Steelers declined comment on the case.

Davenport is the fourth Steelers player since 2006 to be accused of domestic violence.

Simple assault and criminal mischief charges were dropped Thursday against linebacker James Harrison, 29, when the judge was notified that he completed an anger management program, was a first-time offender and had no history of violent crime.

On March 28, a judge ordered former wide receiver Cedrick Wilson to undergo anger management counseling when he was charged with assaulting his girlfriend in a restaurant. The day after the arrest, the Steelers terminated his contract.

In 2006, wide receiver Santonio Holmes was charged with domestic violence and assault after an altercation with his girlfriend. A judge dismissed the case after Holmes' lawyer assured him he was in counseling.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.