No resolution in Hairston case

Aug. 08, 2014 @ 03:18 PM

Unless P.J. Hairston’s lawyers settle out of court regarding his misdemeanor charge of assault and battery, the NBA rookie has a Sept. 12 Durham County District Court date.

Hairston was due in court Friday morning, but one of his lawyers, Bill Thomas, said the hearing simply was an initial appearance to establish whether the former North Carolina guard has legal representation. The case was continued until next month with the option of further delaying the matter until Oct. 3.

Rising J.D. Clement Early College High School senior  Kentrell Barkley said Hairston punched him twice during a pickup basketball game at the Downtown Durham YMCA in July.

Clement Early College is an affiliate of Durham Public Schools and housed on the campus of N.C. Central University. No sports are offered at Clement, so Barkley, 17, plays basketball for Northern High School.

Hairston, 21, is a guard for the Charlotte Hornets.

Vince Phillips said he saw Hairston (6-6, 230) hit Barkley (6-5, 190). It was the day before Hairston reported to the Hornets’ minicamp.

Barkley was showing up Hairston on the basketball court that day at the Y, Phillips said.  

Phillips and Barkley are pals.

Barkley, who was not in the courtroom Friday, has said that he did not press charges against Hairston in order to get a financial settlement.  

In July, Barkley was in Las Vegas at the adidas Super 64 showcase tournament, where his production on the basketball court earned him a scholarship offer from Providence College, in Rhode Island, said Rick Phillips, Barley’s guardian and former Amateur Athletic Union coach. Barkley also is getting recruited by East Carolina, Murray State, Louisiana Tech and Cincinnati.

One of Hairston’s other lawyers is Butch Williams, a guy known for deftly navigating legal matters.

Williams represented Julius Nyang’oro, the former leader of the UNC Department of African and Afro-American Studies. Nyang’oro was charged with obtaining property by false pretenses following a State Bureau of Investigation inquiry into academic improprieties in the department he led. It was alleged that Nyang’oro collected $12,000 for a summer school course in 2011 that he never taught.

But Orange County District Attorney Jim Woodall dismissed those charges last month. Nyang’oro has agreed to cooperate with an investigation aimed at getting to the bottom of the academic scandal pertaining to student-athletes at UNC, Woodall said.

Thomas, who helped represent Nyang’oro, did not comment on whether mediation is an option for Hairston’s issue.

That Sept. 12 court date is on a Friday, a school day for Barkley.