Ex-Sooner Adrian Cooper’s temper described to federal jury

BY NOLAN CLAY Modified: November 13, 2008 at 10:09 am •  Published: November 13, 2008
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A prison guard testified Wednesday at Adrian Cooper’s assault trial that he saw the former University of Oklahoma football player hit another inmate twice in the face with a fist.

The second time, the other man was up against a wall, sliding to the ground, said Jonathan Potts, a correctional officer at the El Reno federal prison camp.

The trial began Wednesday with a prosecutor telling jurors, "This is a simple case.”

A defense attorney said Cooper was set up.

Cooper admits he hit Ramiro P. Valdez the evening of Jan. 11. Cooper’s attorney, Stephen Jones, said in an opening statement that Valdez struck first.

Valdez, a drug trafficker, was willing to take a beating because he believed his injuries would get him released from prison early, the defense attorney said. Valdez chose to start the fight close to a guard and other inmates where he knew he would be "in danger for only a second,” Jones said.

The key witness, Potts, said he did not see how the disturbance began. But the guard insisted he thought at the time it was an assault not a fight.

Prisoners have duties

Cooper, 40, is on trial in federal court in Oklahoma City.

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