Trial Date Set For RUSH Guitarist ALEX LIFESON

MediaGab.com is reporting that a trial date has been set for the lead guitarist of the internationally known rock group RUSH, who is facing felony charges for an altercation with Collier County (FL.) deputies at the Ritz-Carlton on New Year's Eve 2004. Alex Zivojinovich, who is accused of pushing a female deputy down a hotel stairwell and spitting his blood on a male officer, is scheduled to stand trial for assault charges on May 16.

"I think it's going to trial May 16," said his Naples (FL.) defense attorney Jerry Berry as he was leaving the courthouse on Wednesday morning (March 9). But trial could be avoided if the state and defense reach a plea agreement in the meantime. A judge on Wednesday also approved of scheduling an April 27 "sounding hearing." At these hearings, a judge can accept a plea bargain. Berry and the prosecutor weren't talking about whether plea discussions are underway.

Prosecutor Rich Montecalvo said there is no plea yet. "We're not even at that stage yet. . . I can't talk about that. I don't know what's going to happen," he said as he was walking out of the courtroom on Wednesday. A continuance of the case was agreed upon by Berry and Montecalvo. "There are some other witnesses we've located. We're taking their depositions, Berry said. It has been more than a year since Alex Zivojinovich, known on stage as Alex Lifeson, was arrested for scuffling with Collier County sheriff's deputies at the Ritz-Carlton, Naples at a New Year's Eve bash ringing in 2004. He is facing two third-degree felony charges that could carry five-year prison sentences.

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