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Rams draftee Tyler Higbee pleads not guilty to charges in Kentucky

Tyler Higbee, a tight end from Western Kentucky who was drafted by the Rams, appeared in court Thursday and entered a plea of not guilty to charges related to an altercation that led to his arrest in Kentucky last month, his attorney said.

Higbee’s next court date is June 17, attorney Brian Lowder said.

Higbee, a fourth-round pick, is scheduled to participate in the Rams’ rookie orientation and mini-camp that begins Friday in Oxnard.

Higbee was arrested April 10 on suspicion of second-degree assault, evading police and public intoxication after an altercation with a man outside a bar in Bowling Green. Nawaf Alsaleh, 24, was found unconscious and bleeding from the mouth. He reportedly suffered a concussion as well as a brain hemorrhage.

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According to a police report obtained by the Bowling Green Daily News, there were conflicting accounts from Higbee and witnesses about what occurred. Higbee told police that the incident was precipitated by a man who was bothering Higbee and his girlfriend.

Lowder has disputed accounts that characterized the incident as racially motivated.

Last week, after he was drafted, Higbee said he could not talk about the situation but said: “It’s an incident that I can’t let define me. I’ve just been trying to keep my mind focused and stay working.”

Rams Coach Jeff Fisher has said the Rams were “convinced” that Higbee’s situation would be resolved and that the team would not have drafted Higbee “had we had some concerns that it was going to be a problem down the line.”

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