Trial Set for Backup Punter Charged with Stabbing Starter

Mug shot of Mitch Cozad, former punter at the University of Northern Colorado.
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Greeley, Colo. (AP) A former University of Northern Colorado backup punter who allegedly stabbed the starter is pleading not guilty to the attempted murder and assault charges he's facing.

Mitch Cozad of Wheatland, Wyoming entered his pleas in a Greeley courtroom Monday morning to charges of attempted first-degree murder and second-degree assault.

A trial is now scheduled for July 30th.

Cozad is accused of stabbing Rafael Mendoza in a dimly lit parking lot at his apartment complex last September.

Mendoza suffered a three- to five-inch-deep knife wound in his kicking leg. He returned to the team two weeks after the stabbing and averaged almost 40 yards on 56 punts.

Cozad could face 48 years in prison if convicted.

He's free on $500,000 bond.



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