A police cruiser. Photo by John Schreiber.
A police cruiser. Photo by John Schreiber.

Two former college football players were charged Thursday with a series of robberies in South Los Angeles.

Former USC tight end Bryce Dixon and former Louisiana State University defensive lineman Trey Lealaimatafao, both 19, pleaded not guilty Thursday afternoon to five counts each of second-degree robbery and one count each of carjacking, attempted carjacking and assault with a deadly weapon.

Prosecutors allege that the two were involved in a series of robberies Tuesday in South Los Angeles, in which they stopped people, threatened them and stole their belongings. The two were arrested several hours later.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Sergio C. Tapia II ordered Dixon to be held in lieu of $420,000 bail and Lealaimatafao to remain jailed in lieu of $400,000 bail.

The two are due back in a downtown Los Angeles courtroom Feb. 2 for a hearing to determine if there is enough evidence to require them to stand trial.

Outside court, Dixon’s attorney, Joshua E. Ritter, said, “I would say it’s prematurely charged and that the case on my initial review is weak. We’re confident that he is going to be vindicated.”

The Los Angeles County Public Defender’s Office is currently representing Lealaimatafao, but a deputy public defender told the judge that Lealaimatafao wants to hire his own attorney.

Dixon was expelled from USC last May 12 following allegations of sexual misconduct with a female USC student, who was an athletic trainer.

After a judge put the expulsion on hold, Dixon was allowed to re-enroll in the university, but was not allowed to rejoin the football team.

Dixon caught 14 passes for 198 yards and four touchdowns in 2014.

Lealaimatafao, a redshirt freshman, was kicked off the LSU football team last June following his arrest in connection with an off-campus fight.

–City News Service

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