Lawyers involved in Associated Students President Cervin Morris’ felony assault case agreed Friday to again postpone the preliminary hearing setting.
Adam Pearlman, Morris’ attorney, said the preliminary hearing setting has been delayed until April 15. Hilary Dozer, the Santa Barbara County senior deputy district attorney prosecuting the case, has been occupied by a different trial, Pearlman said. The defense is also working to gather additional character information about Morris from UCSB administrators, faculty and staff, he said. Pearlman also said he is negotiating with the district attorney’s office to lessen the charges levied against Morris.
“What I am trying to accomplish is get the DA to make the charges a misdemeanor instead of a felony,” he said.
Morris, who is a citizen of Trinidad and Tobago, could face deportation if convicted of a felony.
While the defense is asking the district attorney to reduce the felony charges to misdemeanors, Pearlman said his client is not trying to avoid penalties.
“[Morris is] just requesting that the DA take into consideration more information than just the police report, and [Dozer has] been doing that,” Pearlman said.
This is the third time the preliminary hearing for Morris’ case has been rescheduled. Previous hearings were scheduled on Jan. 28, Feb. 25 and March 25.
Pearlman said Dozer has been very receptive of the character information that the defense has already submitted.
“I was able to give Mr. Dozer a lot of information, but not everything I wanted to get them,” Pearlman said.
Some UCSB faculty and staff members have not yet responded to the defense’s request for character information, Pearlman said.
Morris, a third-year English major, was arrested on Nov. 12, 2004 for allegedly hitting a man on the head with a glass bottle and allegedly 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. Morris pled not guilty to all charges at his Jan. 4 arraignment.
Morris declined to comment on the latest postponement of his legal proceedings.