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West Liberty athletic director requests trial in hotel incident

By Staff reports

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The West Liberty University athletic director has requested a jury trial in connection with an incident at the Charleston Embassy Suites hotel, where he allegedly fought with police after the men's basketball team won the West Virginia Conference tournament.

James Watson, 66, requested the case be bound over to circuit court during a hearing Friday before Kanawha County Magistrate Brent Hall. He is facing charges of obstructing an officer and battery of an officer.

On March 2, Charleston police responded to what they called an "out of control situation" at the hotel following the basketball team's win. About 15 officers tried to calm down a crowd of nearly 200 in the hotel lobby, police said. Watson allegedly shoved one officer to stop police from arresting his son, Brian.

Brian Watson, 28, faces charges of public intoxication, disorderly conduct, fleeing on foot and obstructing an officer, all misdemeanors. He also requested a jury trial Friday during a separate hearing in Kanawha County Magistrate Court.

In March, James Watson filed a complaint with Charleston police, alleging that officers used excessive force during his arrest. Charleston Police Chief Brent Webster recently said the Professional Standards Division found no evidence of unnecessary force in the incident.


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