Three men accused in stabbing of Steelers' Adams held for trial


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An early police report on the stabbing in June of Steelers tackle Mike Adams offered one version of events.

When the player testified in court for a preliminary hearing Thursday, some of the details had changed.

And defense attorneys said they plan to offer a third tale of what transpired when the case eventually makes its way to trial.

Attorneys for defendants talk about Adams' case

The three men arrested in connection with the June stabbing of Steelers player Michael Adams were held for trial today. Two of their attorneys talked about the case. (Video by Nate Guidry; 7/18/2013)

Senior District Judge Edward Tibbs on Thursday afternoon ordered Jerrell Whitlock, 26, Dquay Means, 26, and Michael Paranay, 25, all of Hazelwood, to stand trial on charges of attempted homicide, conspiracy to steal a vehicle and other crimes in the stabbing that left Mr. Adams with a lacerated colon that required surgery.

Pittsburgh homicide detectives wrote in the original criminal complaint that Mr. Adams, of the South Side, told them he got food from the Cambod-Ican restaurant near 17th and East Carson streets shortly before 3 a.m. June 1 and walked to his Ford F-150 Raptor truck, where three men confronted him and one of them said, "Gimme your car."

Mr. Adams told police Mr. Paranay sucker-punched him in the face, Means raised a gun to his face and demanded the car, and Mr. Whitlock stabbed him in the abdomen, according to the complaint.

But on Thursday, Mr. Adams offered a different version of events, saying on cross-examination that some parts of the police report were inaccurate. He testified that he spent about three hours at Local Bar & Kitchen in the 1500 block of East Carson Street and then walked to a nearby Jimmy John's shop to get a sandwich.

Mr. Adams testified that he did not have the keys to his truck but could get into it by using a keypad on the driver's side. He said he sat in the truck, ate his sandwich and was confronted by the three men shortly after he got out.

He testified that Mr. Paranay -- who stared at him during his testimony -- jumped up and down on a step on the side of his truck and that during the confrontation Mr. Whitlock said, "Let me kill him." Mr. Adams said that Means pulled a gun part-way out of his pocket but did not raise it higher than his hip. He testified that Mr. Whitlock stabbed him, but he did not realize it until someone else pointed it out. The three suspects, he said, ran away together.

Defense attorneys questioned Mr. Adams, who is 6 feet 8 inches tall, about how much he had to drink that night, and he said he had two drinks of Jameson and ginger ale over the course of three hours.

Judge Tibbs told the attorneys after several rounds of questioning that Mr. Adams had said he was sober and, "It doesn't matter if he was a drunk on the street and stabbed ... it doesn't matter."

All three defense attorneys tried unsuccessfully to have the attempted homicide charges dropped. Both William Difenderfer, who is representing Mr. Whitlock, and Randall McKinney, who is representing Mr. Paranay, said they intend to show another side of the story when the case goes to trial.

"The story Mr. Adams told today is inaccurate," Mr. McKinney said after the roughly 45-minute hearing. "Mr. Adams did instigate."

Mr. Adams left the courthouse accompanied by Pittsburgh homicide detectives. His agent, Eric Metz, declined to comment on the proceedings.

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Ed Bouchette contributed. Liz Navratil: lnavratil@post-gazette.com, 412-263-1438 or on Twitter @LizNavratil. First Published July 18, 2013 7:15 PM


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