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Sharper's lawyers return to courtroom to question evidence

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The Canadian Press
4/17/2014 9:14:22 AM
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PHOENIX -- Lawyers for former NFL All-Pro safety Darren Sharper are questioning the evidence authorities are using to justify keeping him in jail without bail on charges that he drugged and sexually assaulted two women.

Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Warren Granville began a hearing on the subject Wednesday and is expected to conclude it Thursday afternoon. It's the latest development in several ongoing sexual assault investigations involving Sharper in Louisiana, California, Florida, Arizona and Nevada.

Bail in Sharper's California rape case was set at $1 million, but he was indicted in Arizona last month on charges of sexual assault and administering dangerous drugs, so authorities in California have kept him jailed. The Arizona Constitution automatically denies bail to people charged with sexual assault if the proof against them is evident or the presumption of guilt is great.

The indictment filed last month in Arizona alleges that Sharper gave the sedative zolpidem to three women and then had "sexual intercourse or oral sexual contact" with two of them without their consent on Nov. 21 at an apartment in Tempe.

Sharper has not yet entered a plea in the case, although one of his attorneys has said Sharper will deny those allegations. He has pleaded not guilty in the California case.

Earlier this month, the judge denied a request from Sharper's attorneys to set bail, ruling that he didn't have jurisdiction until the former player was in Arizona. But Sharper's attorneys said the former player is entitled to a hearing to determine whether Arizona prosecutors have enough evidence to deny him bail.

On Wednesday, Tempe police detective Kevin Mace said Sharper's DNA was recovered from the clothing of one of the two sexual assault victims in Arizona, but none of his DNA was found during an exam of the other woman.

The detective also said a police search of the apartment turned up a shot glass with a white residue that turned out to be zolpidem, and California investigators have discovered Sharper had a prescription for that drug, which is commonly sold under the brand name Ambien.

Darren Sharper (Photo: Bob Chamberlin/Pool/Getty Images)

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(Photo: Bob Chamberlin/Pool/Getty Images)
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