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(NECN: Kathryn Sotnik, Boston) - Two former college football players, including a Boston College student, have pleaded not guilty to charges of severely beating a homeless man to unconsciousness.
Suffolk County Prosecutors say the charges follow a three-month grand jury investigation.
Twenty-three-year-old Anthony Varrichione of Medway, Mass., a former Marist College football player is now facing assault and battery charges. Twenty-two-year-old Craig Parsons, of West Newton, a BC Student and former starting tight end for the BC football team, is also facing the same assault and battery charges along with one charge of witness intimidation.
Prosecutors say back in January, around 2 a.m., the 50-year-old homeless man was pan-handling in front of an Allston apartment.
Court documents say the man was asked to leave and then a fight started. Prosecutors say the two former football players then punched and kicked the homeless man. They also say Parsons repeatedly smashed his head into the ground.
A woman walking, according to court documents, eventually jumped in and shielded the victim with her own body.
Parsons' defense attorney says he's a good kid who comes from a good family.
But prosecutors also allege he intimidated a witness to stymie the investigation.
Michael Doolin, Parson's defense attorney, said, "I'm confident that after a thorough investigation in this case that my client will be exonerated of these charges."
Boston College says Parsons, who was set to graduate, has now been issued a suspension and has no access to the campus until the matter is resolved.
The homeless man is expected to live, but prosecutors say he doesn't remember anything from the attack.
Court paperwork, though, does identify several other witnesses from that Jan. 26 incident.
Both Varrichione and Parsons plead not guilty and will appear back in court on June 4.
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