Koa Misi, with attorney Adam Braun, in Santa Barbara Superior Court (April 20, 2012)
Paul Wellman

Nawa Koa Misi, the Miami Dolphins linebacker accused of punching through the front door of an Isla Vista apartment then socking a man in the face, was arraigned in Santa Barbara Superior Court Friday morning. He pleaded not guilty to three felony charges.

The “drunken altercation,” as his attorney described it to Judge Clifford Anderson, took place in April 2011, but Misi never appeared for his original arraignment. He was arrested in his home state of Florida last month, posted bail, then willingly traveled to California for this week’s hearing.

Koa Misi leaves Santa Barbara Superior Court after posting bail (April 20, 2012)
Paul Wellman

According to Deputy District Attorney Lee Carter, the 25-year-old Misi is charged with battery with serious injury, residential burglary, and dissuading a witness. Carter couldn’t go into detail on the accusations, but explained that when someone unlawfully enters a home and commits any kind of crime, the person can be charged with residential burglary. It’s not clear why Misi is charged with dissuading a witness, but he did reportedly grab a woman’s cell phone — she called police immediately following the incident — and hurled it to the ground.

Of Misi’s decision to come to Santa Barbara on his own, and therefore avoid a planned extradition, Carter said, “We’re pleased that he showed up so we didn’t have to chase him down.” Although the incident happened over a year ago, Carter explained, the case wasn’t filed with the Santa Barbara DA’s Office until recently.

After his arraignment, Misi posted his $10,000 bail bond. He posted bail for the same amount when he was arrested in Florida. Neither he nor his attorney, Adam Braun of Los Angeles, spoke to the media after Friday’s arraignment. Misi will be back in court May 31 for a preliminary hearing.

Misi had 34 tackles in 12 games last year before he injured his shoulder in December, ending his season. The Dolphins went 6-10. In 2010, he had 41 tackles and five sacks for Miami. Misi, from Santa Rosa, Calif., played three years of college ball at the University of Utah, where he started 36 out of 38 games. He was picked 40th overall in the 2010 NFL Draft.


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