Greeley, Colorado – A college football player who was attacked
by a knife-wielding man broke down in sobs on the stand today in
Greeley after re-enacting the assault.
University of Northern Colorado starting punter Rafael Mendoza
was stabbed in his kicking leg in the attack last Sept. 11 but
later returned to the team.
The backup punter at the time, Mitch Cozad of Wheatland
(Wyoming), is on trial on charges of attempted first-degree murder
and second-degree assault. Prosecutors allege Cozad stabbed Mendoza
in a bid to get the starter's job.
Cozad's attorney Joseph "Andy" Gavaldon has blamed the
stabbing on Kevin Aussprung, who told police he was with Cozad that
night. But Aussprung's attorney, Bill Crosier, denies his client
was the attacker.
Cozad's trial is expected to last about two weeks.
He could face up to 48 years in prison if convicted.