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Hearing Postponed; Bryant to Play Friday

Times Staff Writer

Kobe Bryant’s pretrial hearing Friday has been postponed, meaning he can avoid a repeat of last week’s mad dash from Eagle, Colo., to a Laker game a time zone away.

The Lakers play at Seattle on Friday night. Bryant can now travel with the team instead of taking a private jet to and from Colorado and racing to make tip-off the way he did Wednesday, when he scored 36 points in a victory over Sacramento at Staples Center.

The hearing, regarding Bryant’s request to throw out specific evidence in his sexual assault case, was called off because of a court scheduling conflict and will take place April 26-28 -- dates that coincide with the first round of the NBA playoffs.

The Laker star’s attorneys are arguing that tape-recorded statements he made to investigators the night after the June 30 incident that led to the rape charge against Bryant, and a T-shirt stained with the blood of his accuser, should not be admissible. Bryant was not read his Miranda rights, which would be illegal if it is determined that he was in custody at the time.

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Bryant, 25, has said he and the woman had consensual sex. By Judge Terry Ruckriegle’s recommendation, he has not entered a plea because doing so would mean a trial must take place within six months under Colorado’s speedy-trial law.

Also expected to take place April 26-28 is the continuation of the rape-shield hearing. The judge also has yet to rule on whether information about the alleged victim’s medical or mental health history can be introduced as evidence.


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