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GIRARD Former WWF star pleads innocent to two charges



Published: Fri, June 15, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.



GIRARD -- Professional wrestler Jake "The Snake" Roberts says he didn't try to slither out of town Thursday night after a parking lot accident.

"The Snake," 46, whose real name is Aurelian Smith of Gainesville, Texas, pleaded innocent this morning in municipal court to drunken driving and leaving the scene of an accident.

Acting Judge Anthony Antonucci continued the bond for Smith, who was released Thursday night on a $5,000 recognizance bond.

Willing to wait: Through his lawyer, Robert Shaker of Niles, Smith waived his right to a speedy trial and a pretrial hearing was scheduled for 2 p.m. Aug. 1.

Smith is in the area this weekend to sign autographs at the Mahoning Valley Rib Burn Off at Cafaro Field parking lot in Niles.

According to a police report, Sherri Morgan, 43, of 119 E. Broadway Ave., said Smith's Lincoln Continental ran into her Oldsmobile in a parking lot in the 900 block of North State Street about 6 p.m.

Morgan notified police the car sped off, heading north along North State.

Busted: Smith's car was stopped on Robbins Avenue near Rhodes Avenue by Girard and Niles police. Smith told police he couldn't perform a visual sobriety test because he had an injured hip.

Police said Smith smelled of alcohol and had slurred speech. A test showed his blood-alcohol level at 0.179 percent, nearly twice the legal limit.

Smith was known for using snakes in his wrestling act. No snakes were found in his car.

Smith was a World Wrestling Federation and World Championship Wrestling fan favorite in the 1980s and 1990s.




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