ND prosecutors lower attempted murder charge against ex-football player in brawl with police

Ward County prosecutors have reduced a charge against a former Minot State football player who was originally accused of attempted murder for his role in a brawl with police.

Court documents show that the charge against Jesse Ili has been amended to felony aggravated assault. Prosecutors also lowered bond for Ili from $200,000 to $20,000.

Jesse Lange, Eli's attorney, said Friday that prosecutors filed the amended charge without talking to him.

"It was clear to me that the evidence did not support a charge of attempted murder," Lange told The Associated Press. "I am not suggesting that the evidence supports the other charges, but that one was obviously way out of line."

Ili, 21, faces five other charges, including felony counts of simple assault on a peace officer and preventing arrest.

Police say Ili knocked one officer unconscious and left another with minor injuries after police responded to a report of suspected drug use in a parked vehicle last month. Both officers were treated at a hospital and released.

Ili, from West Covina, Calif., has been kicked off the football team.

Four other team members were arrested on misdemeanor drug charges. Two of them have pleaded guilty.

Prosecutor Rozanna Larson did not return a phone message seeking comment.