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Hornets Wesley Faces Charges


Charlotte Hornets guard David Wesley will be charged with misdemeanor racing and reckless driving in the Jan. 12 crash that killed his friend and teammate Bobby Phills, Wesley's lawyer said today.

Ed Hinson said he was told Tuesday by Mecklenburg County Assistant District Attorney Anne Tompkins that she will authorize police to charge Wesley with the two counts.

"He will be cited for reckless driving and speed competition," Hinson said, adding that he did not know when police will issue the citations. Wesley was on the road Tuesday night with the Hornets in Houston for an NBA game against the Rockets.

Tompkins did not immediately return phone calls this morning. Tompkins, who heads the prosecutor office's misdemeanor prosecution team, reviewed the evidence with two felony prosecutors in her office. All three decided Wesley should be charged with speed competition and reckless driving, she told The Charlotte Observer.

Tompkins would not elaborate on the evidence, saying, "I'm not going to comment on the facts of the case."

Speed competition, also called spur-of-the-moment racing, and reckless driving are each punishable by up to 60 days in jail and a $1,000 fine. Motorists convicted of speed competition also can lose their licenses for up to a year.

If convicted, it is unlikely Wesley would spend any time in jail, legal experts said, but he could ordered to perform community service.

Police said Phills, 30, and Wesley at more than 100 mph when Phills lost control of his Porsche and was Phills crossed into oncoming traffic and collided with a car, according to a police report.

The report said both Phills and Wesley were driving "in an erratic, reckless, careless, negligent or aggressive manner," and the men were "involved in a speed competition" before the collision.

Wesley was driving with a suspended license at the time.

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