As a Steelers fan, I’m used to hearing and reading ridiculous claims from fans of other teams about how the NFL has always favored them and would do anything (even have officials cheat in Super Bowls) to assure the team of staying on top.
However, I’m not so sure I’ve ever heard a defense lawyer try to make similar claims of cover-up and conspiracy, like the ones the defense attorneys for Dquay Means, Jerrell Whitlock and Michael Paranay, the three suspects currently on trial for the stabbing of Steelers offensive tackle Mike Adams in June of 2013.
According to defense attorney Fred Rabner, who represents Means, Adams’ story changed three times, initially telling police he was punched and stabbed, but then later altered his story to say he was also threatened with a gun and that the three men wanted to steal his truck.
As you might imagine, beings that Adams failed a drug test at to the 2012 combine and was in-danger of not being drafted at all before convincing Pittsburgh that he changed his ways, which swayed them to pick him in the second round, the attorneys of the three suspects are trying to use Adams’ past against him and sully his credibility.
According to Rabner, Adams didn’t want to get in trouble with the team that gave him a shot at a professional football career:
“What happened between Story No. 1 and No. 2?” Rabner asked in his closing arguments to the jury on on Tuesday. “Steelers security goes to the hospital. Steelers security meets with Mike Adams, and lo and behold, let’s go to Story No. 2.”
Later, referring to Adams and his history prior to coming into the NFL, Rabner asks the jury, “Who has something to lose?”
I won’t quote the lawyer any further, but if you want to read more of his claims that the team and even law enforcement attempted to cover up the events that led to Adams’ being punched, and then stabbed in the arm and stomach, you can check out the Post Gazette article I sited for this piece.
While prosecutors are trying to get a conviction for attempted murder and conspiracy to rob (the attempted homicide charge against Paranay has been dropped, but he’s still charged with aggravated assault and conspiracy to rob), the three defendants have maintained throughout that the stabbing incident was the result of a fight, and that Adams was the instigator, who initially knocked food out of Paranay’s hands after bumping into him.
I’m obviously no lawyer, and can’t always wrap my head around the strange nuances of law, but does it really matter what led up to Adams being stabbed?
Maybe the three defendants didn’t try to rob Adams, and maybe it was a fight that the 6’7”, 323lb lineman started, but fights happen all the time. However, how often do altercations end in a person being stabbed?
As far as I’m concerned, what happened the night of June 1, 2013, means very little, other than the fact that a man was stabbed and left for dead as two of the three defendants fled the scene; and one of them, Whitlock, the man accused of the actual stabbing, fled to Florida, where he was eventually captured AFTER trying to run from police.
Regardless of what people have been saying about Adams’ character or the alleged inconsistencies in his story (or that he was intoxicated), he certainly didn’t stab anyone on the streets of the South Side, last June.
When you bring a knife to a fist-fight, all bets are off, and all claims of character and cover-up mean very little.
The jury is expected to begin deliberations on Wednesday.