LARAMIE — A former University of Wyoming basketball player Tuesday was acquitted of all charges stemming from an alleged altercation at a downtown Laramie bar late last year.
A six-person jury found Ny Redding not guilty of one count of battery and one count of simple assault following a daylong trial inside an Albany County circuit courtroom. The jury deliberated for roughly 30 minutes before reaching a verdict following a trial that saw the prosecution and defense call a combined 10 witnesses.
Redding, who did not testify on his behalf and didn’t say anything outside of some inaudible conversations with his attorney, Megan Goetz, during the course of the trial, dropped his head slightly and smiled once the verdict was read by Circuit Court Judge Robert Castor. The most serious allegation made by prosecutors was that Redding struck a female University of Wyoming student, leaving her unconscious.
Redding declined to comment as he walked out of the courtroom. Goetz, an attorney with Pence and MacMillan, LLC, said afterward “we’re glad justice was served” but declined to comment further.
A senior point guard for the Cowboys last season, Redding started the first nine games before being suspended indefinitely after the Laramie Police Department cited Redding for disorderly conduct and inciting a fight during an altercation at Roxie’s on Grand in the wee hours of Dec. 9.
The municipal citation was later dismissed after a charge of battery was filed against him in Albany County Circuit Court. The state alleged that Redding struck UW student Molly Pickerill and left her unconscious — something Pickerill also claimed in an interview with the Star-Tribune following the alleged incident. Redding was also charged with misdemeanor assault based on allegations he pushed Jayce Kelley, one of Pickerill’s roommates.
Redding pleaded not guilty to the charges in February.
On Tuesday, the prosecution called four witnesses who were at the bar on the night in question, including Kelley and Delaney Prince, a Laramie County Community College student. Prince testified she saw Redding strike Pickerill on the side of the head in the middle of the bar’s upstairs dance floor after a verbal altercation between Redding and Kelley, who testified upon cross-examination that she first pushed Redding after Redding called her a derogatory name.
Three witnesses called by the defense testified that they didn’t see Redding strike Pickerill. Each said it was Redding who was being attacked by other people there that night and that he was acting more in self-defense.
Bobby Watkins, the coach of Wyoming’s women’s rugby team who said he was at the bar celebrating a friend’s going-away party, testified that he didn’t know who struck Pickerill, but “I can tell you it wasn’t Ny,” he said.
The prosecution called into question some of the witnesses’ consistency upon cross-examination when it came to their testimony and statements they initially gave police following the incident. However, Pickerill, who was called to testify by the prosecution, reiterated she didn’t remember being hit and couldn’t have identified Redding prior to the alleged incident.
Prosecuting attorney Cheryl Brome and Pickerill both declined to comment after the trial.
There was also no video footage entered as evidence. The defense’s other witness, Roxie’s co-owner Garret Hensley, answered in the affirmative when Goetz asked him if she had subpoenaed the bar for surveillance video from that night, but Hensley testified no video was produced because there wasn’t any footage of the incident in question.
“(The camera) is not always on,” Hensley said, “but it’s there.”