Man pleads no contest to firing shots at Minxx strip club

A Washington man has pleaded no contest to charges he fired shots during a strip club melee in February 2007 that ensnared professional football player Adam “Pacman” Jones.

Arvin Kenti Edwards, 31, on Tuesday pleaded guilty via an Alford plea to one count of attempted murder with use of a deadly weapon, Clark County prosecutors said. The Alford plea means Edwards didn’t admit guilt but acknowledged prosecutors could prove their case against him.

As part of the deal, a sentence of four to 10 years in prison will be recommended to Judge Valorie Vega. A sentencing hearing was scheduled for Jan. 25 .

Edwards was indicted by a grand jury in August 2008 on three counts of attempted murder, three counts of battery with use of a deadly weapon resulting in substantial bodily harm, and one count of possession of a firearm by an ex-felon.

Authorities said the Minxx strip club fracas, which occurred during the NBA All-Star Weekend, was triggered by Jones. The current Cincinnati Bengal showered strippers with hundreds of dollar bills as they danced. The act, known as “making it rain,” was intended as a visual effect. The fight erupted when strippers began picking up the cash.

Jones and his entourage were kicked out of the club, and the shootings occurred minutes later.

Three people were wounded, including bouncer Tommy Urbanski, who was paralyzed from the waist down.

Authorities said Edwards later tried to extort money from Jones for “services rendered.” But Jones said he never ordered the shooting and refused to pay.

Deputy public defender Dan Silverstein, who represents Edwards, said his client did not get a fair shake in court.

“I wasn’t comfortable with him proceeding to trial knowing that every ruling up until that point had gone against him,” Silverstein said.

Edwards faced a maximum sentence of 186 years if convicted and pleaded Alford because it was the only “logical” thing to do considering he has already been in jail for two and a half years, Silverstein said.

“I don’t want anybody to think that because he entered an Alford plea that that’s the end of the story, that he must be guilty and that Pacman Jones must be credible,” Silverstein said.

He said police “fumbled the investigation,” and as soon as Jones pointed the finger at Edwards, detectives stopped looking at other potential suspects.

“I don’t want this to be the final determination of guilt as to who really fired the gun at the Minxx. I still think there are a lot of questions. I sincerely hope that Metro does not stop investigating this shooting. I still firmly believe that the person who shot these three people is still out there,” Silverstein said.

Jones’ attorney, Robert Langford, said his client was “absolutely looking forward to testifying” against Edwards. He said Jones is “happy to get it (the case) behind him. He was from the beginning always trying to do the right thing.”

Jones and Robert “Big Rob” Reid pleaded no contest in December 2007 to charges of conspiracy to commit disorderly conduct in connection with the Minxx brawl. As part of the plea agreement, both men agreed to testify against Edwards. They will have to serve one year of probation. A sentencing hearing in their case is set for Oct. 19.

Sadia Morrison, with Jones the night of the fight, was accused of fighting with strippers in the club and of striking security guard Aaron Cudworth with a champagne bottle.

She later pleaded no contest to a felony battery charge for her role in the fight. For her plea, Clark County prosecutors dropped charges of assault with a deadly weapon, coercion and battery. She was sentenced to three years of probation.

Morrison was found dead in the Bronx in June 2007 after falling off the roof of an apartment building. No foul play was suspected.

After the shooting, Jones was suspended from the National Football League for a year and traded by the Tennessee Titans to the Dallas Cowboys, before landing with the Bengals.

Contact reporter Francis McCabe at fmccabe@reviewjournal.com or 702-380-1039.

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