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Byfuglien going to trial on drunken boating charges

Feb 2, 2012, 1:18 PM EDT

Dustin Byfuglien Getty

Prior to a settlement conference for Dustin Byfuglien‘s boating while intoxicated charges, Big Buff’s lawyer, Mitch Robinson, said he’d fight for reduced charges.

Careless boating is something we can live with,” he explained.

Guess who couldn’t live with it? A Minneapolis-based judge and prosecutor, apparently.

According to the Winnipeg Sun, Byfuglien’s lawyer was  unable to reach an agreement on a reduced charge Thursday morning, meaning Big Buff is off to trial.

“There’s no reasonable offer on the table,” Robinson told The Sun. “I’m always hopeful we’ll be able to settle these cases without going to trial, because there’s never any guarantee what a jury is going to do.”

Robinson said there’s a slight chance of a resolution before a trial starts — the parties will meet again in April to set a date — but he’s not optimistic it’ll happen. Robinson originally stated he’d “like to see something not alcohol or drug related” but, given the charges Byfuglien is facing (boating while intoxicated, refusing a blood or urine test, boating without navigational lights and enough flotation gear) that doesn’t appear likely.

[Note: Robinson had stated previously that "about 85 percent" of cases are settled at the settlement conference. So read into that what you will.]

Byfuglien pleaded not guilty to the charges back in October. He’s currently with the Jets in Tampa Bay, expected to return to the lineup tonight for the first time since suffering a knee injury in late December.

  1. Brian - Feb 2, 2012 at 4:01 PM

    They’re going to have a jury trial. On drunk boating charges. Are you shitting me? No wonder the American courts are so backed up. It’s a ticketable offence, a misdemeanor at worst, and they’re actually going to a trial to decide the outcome? Unbelievable.

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