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Heatley Trial Appears Likely

From Times Wire Reports

Attorneys on both sides of Atlanta Thrasher forward Dany Heatley’s vehicular homicide case said Monday they were not close to agreeing on a plea deal that would keep his case from going before a jury in Atlanta.

“I believe this case, at this point, appears to be heading to a trial,” said Ed Garland, an attorney for Heatley.

Heatley appeared in Fulton County Superior Court on Monday for a hearing. A trial tentatively is set for February.

Assistant Dist. Atty. Brett Pinion described plea negotiations as “nothing that’s gotten very far.”

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The case stems from a car crash last year that killed Heatley’s friend and teammate, Daniel Snyder.

Police say Heatley, 23, was driving his black Ferrari convertible between 60 mph and 90 mph on a curved road in a residential area when it ran into a brick pillar and iron fence on Sept. 29, 2003.

Snyder, 25, died after six days in a coma, and Heatley broke his jaw and tore two ligaments in his knee.

Heatley is charged with vehicular homicide and five misdemeanors. He could face from one to 15 years in prison on the homicide charge and 20 years if convicted on all six counts.

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On Monday, Judge Rowland Barnes barred prosecutors from mentioning a 2002 car accident involving Heatley but said he would let them bring up a speeding ticket from last year. Heatley was charged with driving 88 mph in a 65-mph zone in Kentucky.

Soccer

Mia Hamm is a finalist for FIFA’s world player of the year award.

Germany’s Birgit Prinz and Brazilian Marta are the other women’s finalists. Midfielder Hamm, who recently retired, is looking to regain the women’s award she lost last year to Prinz.

Thierry Henry, Ronaldinho and Andriy Shevchenko are the men’s finalists.

The winners will be announced Dec. 20 in Zurich, Switzerland.

Leeds United rejected a renewed takeover bid from Sebastien Sainsbury, the great-grandson of the founder of British food retailer J Sainsbury Plc.

“Yet again there was no proof of funds provided,” Leeds Chairman Gerald Krasner said in a statement on the club’s website. “We can only assume Mr. Sainsbury is simply intent on damaging a deal with another consortium we are in advanced discussions with.”

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Sainsbury made a new bid for the English League Championship club after ditching his initial backers, U.S.-based Nova Financial Partners, whose bid ended Nov. 12 when it failed to meet a deadline for transferring $47.4 million to the club, Sky News reported.

Miscellany

The UCLA women entered the AP basketball poll for the first time in nearly four years this week at No. 25 following their upset win over Texas, then fourth-ranked, on Sunday.

The last time the Bruins, now 3-1, were ranked was the week of Feb. 21, 2000, when UCLA was 22nd.

Triple medalist Justin Gatlin and Olympic champion Joanna Hayes were named winners of the 2004 Jesse Owens Awards by USA Track & Field.

Gatlin, 22, won the most competitive men’s 100-meter final in Olympic history at the Athens Games, with Gatlin’s time of 9.85 seconds the best in a field that included a record five men under 10 seconds.

Gatlin, whose 100 time was the fastest in the world in 2004, won a bronze medal in the 200 and silver in the 400 relay in Athens.

Hayes, 27, won the 100-meter hurdles in 12.37 seconds to break the 16-year-old Olympic record.

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