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Judge clears way for trial of ex-Auburn player charged in robbery

A judge says a former Auburn football player will go on trial next week on robbery charges.

Lee County Circuit Judge Chris Hughes cleared the way during a hearing Friday for Mike McNeil's trial to begin Monday.

McNeil's lawyer was trying to withdraw from the case, a move that prosecutors say could have meant a postponement. But the judge refused to let defense lawyer Ben Hand drop McNeil as a client.

McNeil is among four former Auburn football players charged in a residential holdup in 2011. McNeil's attorney says McNeil turned down a plea deal and maintains he is innocent.

Former Auburn player Antonio Goodwin was convicted last year and is in prison.