Jun 26, 2013 2:25 AM
TUCSON - It was a routine court procedure in a case that is far from routine, a pre-trial hearing in which the prosecution gave evidence to the defense to review. As the News 4 Tucson Investigators first reported last month, UA assistant strength and conditioning coach Frank Davis is charged with assaulting a student.
The 6'4", 300 lb. former NFL lineman allegedly punched and body-slammed football team student assistant Brandon Santa-Cruz after UA lost to ASU. last November.
In an exclusive interview last month, Santa-Cruz told News 4 that Davis became enraged because he didn't know what was in the post-game meal boxes.
Santa-Cruz said, "A few seconds pass and then someone punches me in the chest. and so I stumbled backwards and I turn to go see who it was and it was Frank. and then Frank picks me up and throws me over. There was like water bottles and stuff behind me...throws me over them and I stumbled down to the floor."
Santa-Cruz said he suffered a bruised sternum and neck burns from being picked-up by Davis. He claimed he waited six months to press charges because he was hoping Davis would apologize, and when Davis didn't, he was hoping that the university would fire Davis. The coach was suspended with pay shortly after the incident. We've learned that his contract won't be renewed when it expires on June 30th.
Michelle Mozdzem is one of Davis' attorneys. In the pre-trial hearing, the prosecution gave her its key evidence. Afterward, Mozdzem told us Davis is upset about the accusation, "It's very difficult for him. He loved his job."
Mozdzem added, "As we talk to the different witnesses and people who were actually there and saw what happened, we are confident that they will verify Frank's version of what happened."
Davis has maintained that it was Santa-Cruz who instigated the incident.
As we first reported two weeks ago, Santa-Cruz has filed a complaint against the State, the UA and Davis, seeking $250,000. Davis' lawyers say Santa-Cruz simply wants money, and Davis has filed a defamation suit against the rising senior.
Santa-Cruz and his attorney have said they did not want to press charges, they wanted Davis to apologize and perhaps be suspended without pay. And, they say, they are looking forward to both cases going through the courts.