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Bucs’ Williams to enter intervention in misdemeanor case

By Roy Cummings
Published: March 27, 2014 Updated: March 28, 2014 at 06:58 AM
Mike Williams’ case will be closed and charges dropped upon completion of the program. TRIBUNE FILE PHOTO

TAMPA — The criminal mischief and trespassing charges brought against Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Williams last December will be dropped, pending Williams’ completion of a misdemeanor intervention program.

Specific terms of the program will not be set for several weeks, but Hillsborough Circuit Judge Margaret Courtney agreed Wednesday to allow Williams to apply for entry into the program.

“Mike is happy to get this behind him,’’ Williams’ attorney, Stephen Romine said. “He’ll do whatever is required to complete the conditions of the program and is looking forward to getting back on the football field.’’

Williams, 26, was not in attendance for the Thursday’s hearing, which stemmed from a Dec. 13 incident in which he “willfully enter(ed) or remain(ed) in the property of Gabrielle Edwards,’’ without authorization and did approximately $200 worth of damage to the front door, according to the charging document.

Romine said Williams has already paid for the damage done to the apartment door and is hoping to complete the terms of the intervention program before the start of the 2014 NFL season.

Williams spent the night before the incident at the apartment of Gabrielle Edwards and returned there after spending an evening out with his mother the following evening, Romine said.

Citing the late hour, Edwards refused to let Williams in to collect some belongings, Romine said, and that is when Williams began pounding on the door, causing the damage.

After the police arrived, Edwards accompanied Williams and his mother to the Hard Rock Café and also attended a family gathering a few days later with Williams, Romine said.

The hearing comes four days after Williams was treated for a stab wound in his thigh. Investigators said he was injured at his Avila home during an argument with his brother, Eric Baylor, who faces charges of aggravated battery domestic violence.

Bucs coach Lovie Smith said he talked with Williams, believes the player was a victim in the stabbing case and was in no danger of losing his job over it. However, Smith had previously expressed concern after hearing of the door allegations and an unrelated lawsuit that claims Williams was responsible for $43,000 worth of damage to a Lutz home he was renting.

Williams, 26, averaged 64 catches each of his first three seasons in the league but is coming off an injury-shorted campaign in which he caught just 22 passes for 216 yards and two touchdowns in six games.

A fourth-round pick of the Bucs in 2010, Williams signed a six-year, $40.25 million contract last July. The deal calls for Williams to receive a $1.2 million salary and $1 million roster bonus, both of which are guaranteed, and a $600,000 workout bonus in 2014.

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