Jets NT Kenrick Ellis is facing felony charges that are punishable with up to 20 years in prison, in a criminal trial that is scheduled to begin next week.
Ellis is charged with malicious wounding for an incident that dates back to April 2010 while he was a student at Hampton University in Virginia. His trial has been postponed twice, but it is now scheduled for May 22. Ellis is expected in Hampton, Va., on Thursday for a pre-trial hearing.
According to people close to Ellis, as reported by ESPNNewYork.com, the alleged victim harassed Ellis’ girlfriend and then came after the player with a baseball bat, causing Ellis to act in self-defense.
The victim, Dennis Eley, has also filed a civil suit against Ellis, which seeks $3 million in damages and accuses Ellis of breaking his nose and jaw, which required two surgeries.
As a native of Jamaica and a “permanent resident” of the United States, not a U.S. citizen, Ellis could be deported if he’s convicted of an aggravated felony, according to immigration law. The 2011 third-round draft choice played in five games for the Jets as a rookie last season, starting two.