UPDATED: Riders’ Anderson discharged, Smith to stand trial on assault charges

The preliminary hearing for Dwight Anderson (left) and Taj Smith (right) has wrapped up.
The preliminary hearing for Dwight Anderson (left) and Taj Smith (right) has wrapped up. File / Global News

REGINA – A provincial court judge ruled Thursday afternoon that Saskatchewan Roughrider Dwight Anderson has been discharged, while fellow Rider Taj Smith will stand trial on aggravated assault charges.

Anderson, and Smith were in a Regina courtroom for a two-day preliminary hearing to determine what evidence would be admissable during a trial. Details of the hearing are under a publication ban.

Anderson, 32, told reporters Thursday he isn’t surprised to be discharged.

“I knew, you know, that I didn’t do anything,” Anderson said. “I just knew I had to go through the court system, and that was going to take time.”

Anderson added that he’s relieved to focus on football.

The pair were originally charged following an incident on the Dewdney Avenue bar strip in August 2013, when a man was beaten and left with head injuries.

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A third Roughrider, Eron Riley, was also arrested, but those charges have since been stayed.

“In the end, the way the evidence came out, we put it before the judge and she made her determination,” crown attorney Adam Baker said of the preliminary hearing. “After having heard all the evidence, it’s not a huge surprise that she made the decision she did.”

No trial date has been set for Smith, 30.

Lawyers had previously elected to be tried before a Court of Queen’s Bench judge and jury.

With files from Shanelle Kaul

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