Backup punter felt berated by detectives

GREELEY, Colo. -- A former Northern Colorado punter accused of stabbing the starter testified Tuesday that he felt bullied while being interrogated by detectives and that he implied he wanted a lawyer, only to be ignored.

Mitchell Cozad, who is charged with attempted first-degree murder, swiveled in his chair on the witness stand as he answered questions from his attorney, Joseph Gavaldon.

When asked why he spoke to investigators without an attorney, Cozad testified: "I had nothing to hide."

Still, Gavaldon sought to suppress statements Cozad made to investigators. The judge will issue a written ruling by Monday.

Cozad is accused of leaving a 3- to 5-inch deep gash in Rafael Mendoza's kicking leg during a Sept. 11 ambush. Police have said they believe Cozad stabbed Mendoza in an attempt to get the starting job. Cozad has pleaded not guilty and remains free on $500,000 bail. If found guilty of attempted murder, he could face up to 48 years in prison.

The case is set to go to trial July 30, but Gavaldon said lawyers were negotiating to resolve the case before trial. Chief Deputy District Attorney Michele Meyer declined to comment on any possible plea deal.

• COLLEGE BASEBALL -- New Wofford baseball coach Todd Interdonato has named his staff, adding Dusty Blake as pitching coach and Nick Jaksa as assistant for hitters and catchers.

Blake was pitching coach at Catawba College the past two seasons, while Jaksa worked as an Evansville assistant this past spring.

Interdonato, formerly a Terriers assistant, was promoted to replace Steve Traylor. Traylor retired after eight seasons with Wofford and 27 years as a college head coach.

The Terriers finished Traylor's final season in style, winning the Southern Conference tournament title to gain their first NCAA tournament bid.

• LOCAL GOLF -- Ronnie Ruth has been playing golf 47 years but it took him until Tuesday to make his first hole in one.

Ruth aced the 125-yard 10th hole at Spring Lake Country Club while playing with Tim Kaphart, Dean White, Elmer Brown and Dan Baker.

• Bill Butler aced the 176-yard 17th hole at Fort Mill Golf Club for his first career hole in one. Butler used a 5 iron and was witnessed by Doug Riley and Fred Rives.

• LOCAL BASKETBALL -- Veterans Cab PrimeTime Players picked up two wins in league play in the Jeff McInnis Pro-Am basketball league at the Grady Cole Center in Charlotte.

PrimeTime defeated Urban Entertainment 55-49 with Thomas Douglas scoring 14 points in the final three minutes to seal the win.

The second win was a 74-67 win over Bring It On where Sean Barnette led all scorers with 21 points while Bobby Isom and Eric Mann also added double figures.

• COLLEGE BASKETBALL -- Former Providence All-American Jimmy Walker, who was a first-round NBA draft pick by the Detroit Pistons in 1967, has died. He was 63.

Providence announced Tuesday that Walker died of lung cancer on Monday in Kansas City, Mo.

Walker led the nation in scoring in 1967 as a senior, averaging more than 30 points a game.