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Former student to face trial for allegedly attacking another student

superior court, dc courthouse
Former student Ross Richardson will go to trial May 14 for misdemeanor simple assault charges at the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. Photo used under the Creative Commons License.

This post was written by Hatchet reporter Brianna Gurciullo.

The D.C. Superior Court set a May trial date Tuesday for a former student who allegedly beat up another student nearly a year ago.

Ross Richardson, who was arrested March 6, 2011 by University Police officers after witnesses saw him attack another male student in Ivory Tower, will go to trial May 14 for misdemeanor simple assault charges.

He pleaded not guilty to the charges last month, prompting the court to move forward at a status hearing Tuesday to schedule a trial. Under D.C. law, this type of charge faces a trial by a judge instead of a jury, U.S. Attorney’s Office spokesman Bill Miller said.

The Metropolitan Police Department classified the case as a hate crime in its initial report, after two witnesses heard Richardson call the victim a “fag” while punching him. The court is not pursuing that charge.

His misdemeanor simple assault charge carries a maximum penalty of 180 days in prison with a $1,000 fine.

The victim – who witnesses saw Richardson punch and push against a wall and kick while he was lying on the ground – suffered severe head trauma and was transported to GW Hospital for injuries, including bleeding in his brain.

University spokeswoman Jill Sankey said Richardson, who was a senior at the time of his arrest, has not earned a degree from GW.

Pamela Satterfield, Richardson’s defense attorney, declined to comment on her client’s plea and impending trial.

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