NEW YORK – Pretrial hearings on the robbery charges against Robert Iler, teen-age star of The Sopranos, and another youth will begin April 22.
State Supreme Court Justice Bonnie Wittner had scheduled the hearings to begin Monday, but delayed them because one of the lawyers is going to the Middle East. The judge set May 6 as the tentative trial date.
Iler, 17, and two others — 20-year-old Michael Cournede and 17-year-old Alban Selimaj — are charged with second-degree robbery. They're accused of robbing two other youths of $40 on July 4 on the Upper East Side.
Stanley Cohen, Selimaj's lawyer, said the hearings are to determine whether statements the youths gave to police, witnesses' identifications of them, and certain physical evidence will be admissible at trial.
Cohen said the physical evidence includes a small quantity of marijuana that allegedly was taken from one of the defendants.
Iler, who plays the pot-smoking, mischievous Anthony "A.J." Soprano Jr. on the HBO mob drama, will be tried with Selimaj and apart from Cournede because they have antagonistic defenses.
Cohen said this is because Cournede gave police and prosecutors statements that "hurt himself and arguably hurt them," while statements by Iler and Selimaj incriminate Cournede.