Greg Oden pleads not guilty to battery charges
Former No. 1 NBA pick allegedly punched ex-girlfriend
Former NBA No. 1 draft pick Greg Oden is free to leave Indiana while he awaits trial on charges he punched his ex-girlfriend in the face as long as he remains on GPS monitoring, a judge ruled Wednesday in Indianapolis.
Marion County Superior Court Judge Steven Rubick entered a routine not guilty plea on behalf of Oden and scheduled the free agent centre's trial for Oct. 22. Oden is charged with battery resulting in serious bodily injury and two misdemeanor battery counts.
The 7-foot-tall Oden, wearing a silvery sport coat, dark slacks and a white shirt with no tie, sat grimly at the defence table and answered the judge's questions with a soft "Yes, Your Honour."
Oden's attorney, James Bell, said in a statement after the brief hearing that the defence team would have no comment until the conclusion of the case.
The 26-year-old was arrested at his mother's Indianapolis home last Thursday and released from jail later that day.
According to a probable cause affidavit filed, police officers were called to the home at around 3:30 a.m. last Thursday and found a 24-year-old woman on a blood-spattered sofa with a swollen, bloody face. A friend of the woman told officers that Oden had "punched her in the face."
The report says the injured woman was uncooperative and told officers she had fallen, but was unable to say when and where that occurred.
Oden told officers he and the woman had dated for about two years but split up two months ago. According to the report, he said he was arguing with his ex-girlfriend when "things got out of control" and he struck her as he swung his arms to try to break free of two people who were trying to hold him back.
One of Oden's relatives, who said she was awoken by the argument, told police that "every time the two visit and go out, there is an argument to follow."
The Portland Trail Blazers made Oden the top pick in the 2007 draft.
Knee injuries have derailed Oden's professional career, and he didn't play from December 2009 until last season, when he averaged 2.9 points in 23 games for the Miami Heat. He is currently without a team.