Former Baylor defensive end Sam Ukwuachu, who was convicted of a 2013 sexual assault in August, has been denied a new trial. The conviction sparked a major controversy regarding the circumstances under which the troubled player transferred to Baylor from Boise State in 2013, along with multiple investigations into Baylor's handling of the case.
District Court Judge Matt Johnson overturned a motion for a new trial on Monday, according to the Waco Tribune. Ukwuachu's attorney, William Bratton III, said he would file an appeal on the matter. The basis for the new trial request stems from a courthouse incident that allegedly took place outside the courtroom during Ukwuachu's trial. Baylor attorney Melinda Hedrick testified that she overheard prosecutor Hilary LaBorde openly scold Baylor Associate Dean Bethany McCraw in the courthouse rotunda after McCraw's testimony, saying "You should be ashamed of yourself. You just victimized that girl again. I wish I knew who your supervisor is because I would talk to them about your job. You should be ashamed."
According to Hedrick, the exchange was loud enough to be overheard by witnesses or jurors, and Bratton argued that it could have altered the trial outcome.
Ukwuachu was convicted in August of sexual assaulting a fellow Baylor student-athlete in 2013. He was sentenced by Johnson to 180 days in county jail, 10 years of felony probation and 400 hours of community service. Ukwuachu transferred to Baylor from Boise State in 2013 but never played in a game for the Bears.