War Eagle Extra

Landon Rice’s attorneys seek jury trial in filing for protective order

Former Auburn tight end Landon Rice
Former Auburn tight end Landon Rice

Attorneys representing former Auburn football player Landon Rice are seeking a jury trial in the filing for a protective order of abuse against their client in the Circuit Court of Lee County.

A 19-year female plaintiff (name withheld by the Ledger-Enquirer to protect her identity) filed the protective order against the former Auburn football player on Sept. 12, a hearing in the matter is scheduled for Oct. 4.

Rice’s attorney, Kelly Brennan, filed the motion Tuesday afternoon along with a request for the court to reconsider the defense’s motion for a continuance and expedited discovery.

Judge Steve T. Speakman denied the motions in a brief two-page ruling last week.

Speakman issued a temporary order of protection against Rice when he was assigned the case. The protection order will remain in place until the October hearing when he will also hear the defense’s motion to dismiss the case.

Brennan’s motion to reconsider cites the Protection from Abuse Act, which requires a 60-day notice prior to setting a trial. The defense team argues the court didn’t notify Rice in a timely manner.

They also claim a lack of discovery — Rice’s attorneys are seeking a list of items including witness lists, detailed accounts of the plaintiff’s cellphone records and social media history — will prevent them from properly developing a defense.

In the eight-page brief, Rice’s attorneys claim their client has taken and passed a polygraph test about the first-degree rape allegations at the center of the protective order filing.

“Defendant has not exercised his right to remain silent, and in fact even took — and passed — a polygraph test with respect to Plaintiff’s allegations,” the motion states. “These are not the actions of a man afraid to stand and defend himself. Defendant desires to present his case at trial, before a struck jury, on the allegations made against him.”

The incident allegedly happened in the late hours of April 12 in the South Donahue Residence Hall, a 209-room dorm located across the street from the athletic complex. The incident is also the basis for an incident report filed with the Auburn Police Department on July 27.

Rice has not been arrested or charged.

Auburn’s police department currently categorizes the case as “inactive,” but according to Captain Lorenza Dorsey, the designation doesn’t mean the investigation is closed.

Rice’s attorneys issued a statement calling the claims “false allegations.”

Jeff Herman, the Florida-based attorney representing the plaintiff, filed a notice of appearance on Monday for a pair of Alabama-based lawyers.

Michael G. Strickland from the Montgomery based firm Strickland & Kendall and Philip A. Thompson of Haygood, Cleveland, Pierce & Thompson in Auburn will represent the 19-year-old female in the proceedings.

Herman previously issued a statement that included alleged text messages between Rice and his client in which Rice apologizes for his actions and asks the plaintiff to not tell anyone about the incident.

Coach Gus Malzahn announced Rice had left the football program for “personal reasons” following the team’s game on Sept. 10 against Arkansas State.

Auburn’s athletic department and coach Gus Malzahn have declined to comment on the issue.

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