Lawyer: UI's Tate 'did not hit anyone'

Lawyer: UI's Tate 'did not hit anyone'

URBANA — Hours after appearing in an Urbana courtroom with his client, the attorney for suspended Illini basketball player Jaylon Tate stopped by "The News-Gazette Sports Page" radio show at the Esquire Monday evening to publicly debunk the details of the case.

Tate, a junior point guard, pleaded not guilty earlier in the day to a misdemeanor domestic battery charge. He was arrested early Saturday morning, accused of striking his girlfriend in the face.

"He did not hit anyone; domestic battery is a horrible offense. He's not guilty of this offense," Bruno said. "We think we know who struck this girl. We've turned that information over to the authorities."

Bruno said he has faith in local police and the state's attorney's office and believes Tate will be cleared. The attorney was driving home Monday evening listening to the radio show on WDWS 1400-AM when he decided he needed to stop by to protect his client's reputation.

"What concerns me is in our fast-paced environment a lot of harm can take place of damage to people's reputation before the facts are out," Bruno said. "Rumor goes worldwide before truth has a chance to put its pants on."

Bruno said he expects the case will be straightened out "in a matter of days, not weeks." He pleaded with the public not to leap to conclusions before all the evidence has been presented.

"We've shared with law enforcement already the name of the person we believe is responsible for this," Bruno said. "It's a tragedy, but it's not Jaylon Tate and it's not the men's basketball team."

There's a story behind why Tate was arrested early Saturday morning and why charges were brought against the 21-year-old from Chicago, Bruno said. While he understands why both took place, "a tremendous disservice has been done to this young man's reputation," he said.

"Everybody in the community will know what happened and it will all add up and make sense," Bruno said. "It's going to turn out, and you're all going to see that Jaylon Tate was not responsible for this, wasn't even present when it happened."

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Dan Bloeme wrote on March 14, 2016 at 10:03 pm

Brilliant lawyering . .  shove the blame onto someone else. If the girl said he hit her then she must be lying.

No wonder I despise lawyers, they will do anything, trash anyone, even victims, to get their client's off.

max_zilla wrote on March 15, 2016 at 9:03 am
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You heard Dan everyone, he's guilty. Cancel the trial, we don't need those when we're pretty sure.

You're surprised a lawyer tries to do their job instead of rolling over and sending their client to sentencing without a trial?

Joe American wrote on March 15, 2016 at 10:03 am

Obviously armchair activists and general trolls know more than those who are investigating and have access to pertinent information, right Danielle?   Just as with every other post you've made, you're merely trying to elicit angst and stir the proverbial pot.

My advice - don't give up your day job.  If you even have one.

(Oh, and it's "clients", not "client's".  Apostrophes are used to designate possesion, not plurality.)

Dan Bloeme wrote on March 15, 2016 at 11:03 am

it's spelled possession not possesion . .  ignorant POS

ROB McCOLLEY wrote on March 14, 2016 at 10:03 pm
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The story makes sense to me.

Everything I know about Jaylon Tate tells me he's a good guy. I've had a chance to work with him personally. I've had the opportunity to get to know his family. He's always struck me as a very good-natured person. His family is a collective of smart, intuitive, kind and funny people.

I think Tom Bruno and the DIA did well to emphasize that spousal/domestic abuse is not to be dismissed lightly. I wouldn't excuse it either. I feel great empathy for all the people involved in this drama.

I look forward to reading more about Jaylon's exoneration.

wayward wrote on March 15, 2016 at 10:03 am

After the case with the Duke lacrosse players, I'm inclined to assume nothing and let the court system do its work.

Dan Bloeme wrote on March 15, 2016 at 11:03 am

Someone is definitely lying and I for one want to see proof either way. The woman was hit in the face, had deep bruises and was spitting blood. She told police that Tate did hit her once but Tate's attorney claims it really wasn't him but they know who it was. If you believe the attorney Bruno, she is wrong about who hit her or lied. Amazing story, can't wait to hear the evidence.