As reported on news.smh.com.au
Koby Abberton’s, (pictured with Paris Hilton above) assault trial in Hawaii has been delayed as the Sydney-based professional surfer and Bra Boys gang founder attempts to negotiate a plea deal with prosecutors.
Abberton, facing up to a year in a US jail if convicted of assaulting an off-duty Honolulu harbour police officer outside a nightclub, was expected to plead not guilty at a jury trial next week in Hawaii’s Kaneohe District Court.
Judge Ray Garrulity agreed to give Abberton’s lawyer, Leslie Maharaj, and prosecutors time to discuss a deal.
The judge scheduled a September 25 status conference in his court to hear if a deal has been reached.
Prosecutors say they are open to a plea deal.
“We will always listen to any kind of plea negotiation and make a decision based on the evidence that we have,” Jim Fulton, of the Honolulu prosecutor’s office, told AAP on Tuesday.
Maharaj did not return AAP’s calls.
Abberton, 30, is charged with one count of third degree assault.
The big wave rider is accused of punching 27-year-old off-duty officer Richard Puu outside Honolulu’s Epic nightclub in the early hours of March 8.
Puu told authorities he was hit while trying to break up a fight involving Abberton.
Abberton has repeatedly said in media interviews he is innocent and a victim of mistaken identity.
At a court appearance in June, Abberton entered a not guilty plea.
Abberton and his brothers received worldwide notoriety this year with the global release of their documentary, Bra Boys.
The film, narrated by Oscar winner Russell Crowe, was launched in the US in May with a star-studded red carpet premiere at the Director’s Guild of America theatre on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood.