The meeting to set the preliminary hearing date for Associated Students President Cervin Morris has been rescheduled for March 25 to allow the defense more time to gather information that it said could resolve the case before it goes to trial.
Adam Pearlman, attorney for the defense, said he is working to gather information about Morris’ character from UCSB professors, deans and other people at the university who have worked with the student body president. Pearlman said the character information would help the Santa Barbara County district attorney’s office make an educated assessment of Morris’ case and his punishment.
“I’m obviously not asking anyone [from UCSB] to weigh in on the incident itself, but [Morris] has worked with a number of administrators and professors and people who run the university,” Pearlman said. “I think most of them have very favorable impression of his character.”
Pearlman said he does not think the case will go to trial, and the two sides might reach a plea agreement with the information he plans to give to the district attorney.
“I think they will make a reasonable decision,” Pearlman said. “They just don’t have that information yet.”
If the two sides cannot agree on a plea bargain after the preliminary hearing setting, the hearing would then follow. The district attorney would have to prove there is sufficient evidence to proceed to a trial.
Pearlman also said his goal is to reduce Morris’s felony assault with a deadly weapon count down to a misdemeanor charge.
“Obviously the DA has a certain amount of information right now, and that’s all coming from the police department and the police reports,” Pearlman said. “What I’m trying to provide them is information … so that they have a more well rounded picture of Mr. Morris.”
Morris, a third-year English major, was arrested on Nov. 12 for allegedly hitting a man on the head with a glass bottle and punching another man in the face. The district attorney filed one count of felony assault with a deadly weapon resulting in bodily injury and one count of misdemeanor battery against Morris. At his Jan. 4 arraignment, Morris pled not guilty to all charges.