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THE SIDELINES : Spira Enters Innocent Plea

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Gambler Howard Spira, charged with trying to extort money from New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner, pleaded innocent to to an expanded indictment that his lawyer called “a turkey.”

Eight of the 11 counts were the original ones in which Spira was charged with trying to extort money from the Yankees boss and making threats against Steinbrenner and former Yankees slugger Dave Winfield.

Two of the new counts charge Spira with threatening and attempting to extort money from Houston lawyer Earle Lilly and threatening Scott Saidel, a Pace University Law School student.

The third new count says Spira threatened a United Airlines employee in a 1989 telephone call about lost luggage.

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