Prosecutors make closing arguments against Marcus and Markieff Morris


PHOENIX (AP) Prosecutors urged a jury Thursday to convict NBA players Marcus and Markieff Morris of assault charges for their role in the 2015 beating of a former acquaintance in a case that has delayed the start of their season as they stand trial in a Phoenix courtroom with training camps now underway.

Prosecutor Daniel Fisher said Marcus Morris kicked the victim in the head and Markieff Morris acted as an accomplice because “they had an axe to grind” with the man who was beaten. The victim, Erik Hood, has known the twin NBA players since their youth basketball days, but they had a falling out. Authorities say he sent inappropriate text messages to the Morris brothers’ mother.

Marcus plays for the Boston Celtics, and Markieff is with the Washington Wizards.

They are accused of helping three other people beat Hood on Jan. 24, 2015, outside a high school basketball game. At the time, they played for the Phoenix Suns.

The Morris brothers face the possibility of probation or prison time and discipline from the NBA if convicted.

Two of the other co-defendants pleaded guilty Sept. 13 to the same charges. The Morris brothers and the final defendant, Gerald Bowman, have pleaded not guilty.

Defense lawyers pressed Hood last week about his financial motives in the case given the twin brothers both have big-money NBA salaries.

Hood, 36, also testified he wanted justice for the incident that left him with a broken nose and other injuries.