Winnipeg Jets star Dustin Byfuglien’s court case resumes in Minneapolis, Thursday, with his lawyer hoping for a reduced charge against the defenceman.
“What we’d like to see is something not alcohol or drug related,” Mitch Robinson told the QMI Agency, Wednesday. “A reasonable settlement would be something to the effect of careless boating. Careless boating is something we can live with.”
Byfuglien was charged with boating while intoxicated on Lake Minnetonka, in the Minneapolis suburb of Excelsior, Aug. 31.
He was also charged with refusing a blood or urine test, as well as boating without navigational lights and without enough flotation gear for the people on board.
He earlier pleaded not guilty.
A sheriff’s deputy has already told the court Byfuglien’s speech was slurred, he was unsteady on his feet and he smelled of alcohol when his boat was pulled over.
Robinson will meet with the prosecutor and judge, Thursday, in what’s called a settlement conference.
“Most cases are settled at the settlement conference,” Robinson said. “It depends what we could hammer out tomorrow.”
Robinson says it’ll ultimately be up to Byfuglien to decide whether to accept whatever deal he’s able to work out. If his client refuses any kind of guilty plea, the matter would go to trial.
The 26-year-old defenceman, a Jets alternate captain, won’t be in court, Thursday.
He’s with the team in Tampa Bay, where tomorrow night he may return from a knee injury that’s kept him out since before Christmas.