Wednesday, July 21, 2010 | 9:57 a.m.
UNLV men's basketball player Tre'Von Willis has entered a not guilty plea in Henderson Municipal Court to one misdemeanor count of coercion in connection with an incident involving a female acquaintance last month.
Willis, 22, is charged in connection with felony counts of domestic battery by strangulation and grand larceny, and one misdemeanor count of coercion. He was booked into the Henderson Detention Center in June but has posted bail of $18,637. He has denied any physical altercation, according to an arrest report.
Willis entered the not guilty plea for the coercion count through his attorney via fax on July 19. He is scheduled to stand trial at 10 a.m. Sept. 22. He has an August court date in Henderson Justice Court on the felony charges.
Henderson Police spokesman Todd Rasmussen has said a woman, identified as 28-year-old Skye Sanders, reported the alleged attack about 3 a.m. June 29 at the Wild Horse Apartments, 2338 N. Green Valley Parkway.
Sanders told officers she had been involved in a dating relationship with Willis for a year and a half, the report said. She said they often argued about her not devoting enough attention to him, which allegedly spurred the dispute, police said in the report.
Authorities said the two began arguing because Sanders was sending text messages to her friends instead of spending time with Willis. Willis then allegedly grabbed Sanders' purse and emptied its contents in an attempt to find her car keys, the report said. She began laughing at Willis because her keys weren't in the purse, and he allegedly grabbed her around the throat, police said.
Sanders told officers Willis placed both of his hands around her throat and began choking her on top of a bed. She said she couldn't breathe and was fearful of Willis because he had never acted that way, the report said.
Investigators said Sanders tried to maneuver away from Willis by kicking him in the legs and stomach with her feet. The Rebels' 6-foot-4 senior guard then allegedly placed his entire body onto her so she couldn't move, police said in the report.
Sanders said she begged Willis to stop and he released her neck, but placed his right forearm across her throat to choke her, the report said. She began to cry and Willis removed his forearm, police said.
Willis got off Sanders, grabbed his car keys and started to leave the apartment when she told him she was going to call police. Willis then took her cell phone and left, the report said.
Police made numerous attempts to contact Willis by phone and in person. Rasmussen said officers arrested Willis at his apartment in the 4200 block of Spencer Street about 10:30 a.m. that morning. He made a voluntary statement to police that he had been at the apartment with Sanders and they had a verbal argument, not a physical altercation.
Willis, a Fresno, Calif., native, was a first-team all-Mountain West performer last season after averaging 17.2 points, 3.9 rebounds and 3.5 assists for the Rebels.