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Suspended Wyoming senior Luke Martinez pleads not guilty to felony assault

Mar 6, 2013, 5:37 PM EST

Luke Martinez mugshot AP

Suspended Wyoming senior Luke Martinez will not take part in his team’s Senior Day festivities Wednesday after pleading not guilty to a felony count of aggravated assault and battery in a Wyoming district court earlier in the day. The charge stems from Martinez’s alleged involvement a New Year’s Eve bar fight in Laramie, Wyo.

Martinez, who was averaging 14.5 points and 3.0 rebounds per game at the time of his January suspension, reportedly admitted to police that he kicked a man in the head during the fight and with such force, one witness reportedly said, “that it made [the witness] sick.”

But his attorney, Tom Fleener, is painting a different picture of the incident.

“Luke is a victim here,” Fleener said, as reported by the Casper Star-Tribune. “He’s lost his college basketball career. He wasn’t the aggressor that night. This was a bar fight in a college town. No weapons were used. While the injuries were certainly unfortunate, Luke is the one who is truly suffering today.

“We do have the right to correct the record,” Fleener continued. “The record has certainly indicated that Luke was the aggressor in this bar fight. We are clear the evidence, when it does come out, will show he was retreating and was not the aggressor at all.”

Wyoming is 4-11 in the Mountain West after finishing the non-conference slate with a perfect 14-0 overall record. Wednesday’s regular season finale against Colorado State is the team’s last home game of the season.

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at JohnnyJungle.com, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_