Man pleads no contest to Walsh assault
A 30-year-old man accused of punching Bill Walsh in the mouth pleaded no contest Thursday to unlawfully touching the former San Francisco 49ers coach.
Kurt Allen Lewis, of Bakersfield, Calif., was in the Tahoe Township Justice Court on the day set for his trial to enter an “Alfred plea,” which refers to a federal case. Lewis’ attorney Cal Dunlap said the “Alfred plea” essentially means that it is appropriate for a person who is charged with a crime, and maintains his innocence, to enter into a plea bargain.
“My client contends that Mr. Walsh grabbed him by the shirt first and that he was justified in his reaction,” Dunlap said. “My client is a young man and he doesn’t have a record and he doesn’t want one.”
Judge Steven McMorris imposed a $505 fine on Lewis and said that if Lewis violates no laws and has no more incidents of a similar type in the next 90 days he would be allowed to withdraw his plea and the charge would be withdrawn.
Lewis was originally cited for misdemeanor battery in the early morning hours of July 1 at Harrah’s Lake Tahoe. A Douglas County Sheriff’s report said both men appeared to have been drinking that night. Walsh, his lip swollen, never appeared later that day for a one-day celebrity golf tournament at nearby Genoa Lakes.
According to the deputy’s report, Lewis said he was looking over Walsh’s shoulder while he played blackjack, saw Walsh peek at a face-down card and jokingly told him he shouldn’t do that.
Lewis said Walsh got irritated, waved a hand at him, brushing his shirt, and said, “Do you know who I am? Get the (expletive) away from me.” Then Lewis hit him.
Walsh’s version claimed that Lewis was crowding him and he was punched when he extended his arm toward Lewis to create some space.
The card dealer said she saw Walsh grab Lewis’ shirt and then saw Lewis throw the punch.
The deputy reported that Walsh insisted on a citizen’s arrest, but Lewis was only cited because of the conflicting accounts at the time.
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