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Kenrick Ellis due in court on felony charge in 2010 incident

New York Jets nose tackle Kenrick Ellis could face up to 20 years in prison or deportation on a felony charge of malicious wounding.

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The alleged incident took place in April 2010 while the Jets' third-round draft pick was a student at Hampton University. The criminal trial is scheduled to begin May 22.

People close to Ellis said the alleged victim harassed his girlfriend and came at the player with a baseball bat, and the tackle acted in self-defense, according to ESPN New York. Ellis' trial has been postponed twice.

Ellis also is facing a civil suit in relation to the incident, in which Dennis Eley, who's seeking $3 million in damages, accuses Ellis of breaking his nose and jaw, which required two surgeries.

Ellis is due in Hampton, Va., on Thursday for a pre-trial hearing. Because of Ellis' "permanent resident" status, if he is convicted of an aggravated felony, he could be deported. Ellis is a native of Jamaica who moved to Florida at the age of 11.

Ellis appeared in five games for the Jets last season and started in two.

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