PITTSBURGH (ASSOCIATED PRESS) - A T-ball coach accused of offering an 8-year-old boy $25 to bean a disabled teammate is unlikely to receive a fair trial because of intense media coverage, the man's lawyer said.
Mark R. Downs Jr., 29, of Dunbar, was scheduled to go on trial Tuesday in Fayette County on a string of charges, including solicitation, corruption of minors and reckless endangerment. He refused a plea agreement in December.
The charges against Downs drew the attention of media outlets around the world. Many columnists expressed disgust at what they considered adult corruption of a child's sport.
"We feel he's been persecuted by the media," defense attorney Thomas Shaffer said. "[The case] was on from the nightly news in Japan to every syndicated network broadcast across the country."
***This guy is lucky the charges don't carry death threat implications ***