Men’s basketball player Malik Zachery appeared in a March 25 virtual hearing in North Tonawanda City Court for his connection to the Sept. 9 stabbing of Canisius basketball player Scott Hitchon.
Zachery is now scheduled to appear for a disposition hearing on May 27 at 9:30 a.m., which suggests a resolution to his criminal case is possibly imminent, according to Rachel Lenzi of The Buffalo News.
Zachery and his attorney, Thomas Eoannou, are seeking a plea deal that would reduce the charges brought against him, even though the Niagara County’s assistant district attorney said Hitchon has asked the judge to consider jail time for Zachery.
Zachery, 22, was arrested on Sept. 11 and charged with second-degree assault and fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon after a fight broke out between UB and Canisius basketball players during a pickup game two days prior. Hitchon was stabbed in the leg during the altercation and received three stitches for a one-inch laceration. Zachery injured his shoulder and is set to undergo a second surgery to repair it.
Zachery pled not guilty to both charges in September and was suspended indefinitely from the UB men’s basketball program. He did not play in a single game this season.
Niagara County Assistant District Attorney Maria H. Stoelting said during the hearing that the prosecutor offered Zachery a plea agreement for one count of third-degree assault..
Hitchon requested to speak at Zachery’s sentencing hearing and has remained adamant about him serving jail time for the incident.
Eoannou emphasizes that Zachery has no prior criminal history and is on scholarship at UB. He said that Hitchon initiated the trash talking and threw the first punch, which agitated Zachery.
Hitchon averaged 3.1 points per game in 11 contests this season.
City Judge Shawn Nickerson says he believes Hitchon should have the opportunity to speak during the trial. He extended an order of protection against Zachery which disallows him from making any in-person or electronic communication toward Hitchon.
Hunter Skoczylas is the assistant sports editor and can be reached at email@example.com and on Twitter @HunterSkoczylas
Hunter Skoczylas is the assistant sports editor for The Spectrum. In his free time, he can be found looking up random sports statistics, posting memes on Twitter, and dedicating his Sunday afternoons to watching the Buffalo Bills.