April 22, 2015 / 1:13 AM / 4 years ago

Phoenix Suns' Morris brothers charged with aggravated assault

Jan 22, 2014; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Phoenix Suns forward Markieff Morris (left) celebrates a play with twin brother Marcus Morris against the Indiana Pacers in the first half at US Airways Center. Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

PHOENIX (Reuters) - A grand jury in Arizona has indicted Phoenix Suns players Marcus and Markieff Morris on two counts of aggravated assault relating to an incident after a basketball tournament in January, court papers showed on Tuesday.

The twin brothers are accused of “intentionally, knowingly or recklessly” causing physical injury to Erik Vernell Hood on Jan. 24, according to the charges filed by the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office.

The players have denied the allegations by Hood, who says the 25-year-olds and three other men assaulted him as he left a basketball tournament in Phoenix.

“We have been advised by our attorneys not to discuss this case or make any statements about it. We are sorry for the distraction this has caused to our fans and the Suns,” the Morris brothers said in a statement.

They are due to be arraigned on May 7.

The brothers’ Creative Artists Agency representative, Leon Rose, said: “Markieff and Marcus are good men and I am confident that when all the facts come out, their names will be cleared.”

The Phoenix Suns President of Basketball Operations Lon Babby said the team was “disappointed” to learn that the players have been charged.

“This is a serious matter, and we will treat it as such,” Babby said.

“However, at this time, we think it is most appropriate to continue to monitor the legal process as it unfolds before responding further.”

Additional reporting and writing by Daniel Wallis in Denver; Editing by Mohammad Zargham and Simon Cameron-Moore

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