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Plea deal reached with suspect in Ball beating

Published On: Dec 07 2012 01:28:43 PM CST
Updated On: Dec 07 2012 01:32:07 PM CST
MADISON, Wis. -

One of three men accused of assaulting Wisconsin running back Montee Ball has agreed to a plea deal ahead of a trial scheduled for the other two suspects.

Court records indicate Wendell J. Venerable, 21, is scheduled for a plea hearing Dec. 17. He and the other two men were charged with substantial battery.

Jury selection for a trial is scheduled for the same date for Deonte J. Wilson, 21, and Robert A. Wilks, 22.

Probable cause affidavits stated a witness and surveillance video place the three University of Wisconsin-Madison students in the area where Ball was attacked Aug. 1.

Ball suffered a concussion during the early-morning assault near campus.

Madison police Detective Dave Gouran testified at an earlier hearing that people nearby heard the attackers say they planned to beat up football players in retaliation for a previous fight at a party when one of them was hurt.

The first Madison police officer who responded to the call described what witnesses told him the night of the incident. Officer Jacob Conrad said witnesses told him that after Ball was struck in the face, he fell to the ground and five men started kicking him.

Police also said that two different sets of video surveillance cameras, one at Peace Park and another outside a downtown apartment, helped investigators identify the suspects.

Wilson told WISC-TV he was wrongly accused and denied involvement in the attack.

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