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Year in Review: 1997

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Re-rank the list of top sports stories of 1997

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Tiger Woods takes
golf world by storm

Pedro Martinez signs
record deal with Sox

Latrell Sprewell
assaults coach, gets ax

Rick Pitino becomes
Celtics coach, president

Bill Parcells quits after Patriots' banner year

Martina Hingis
rules women's tennis

Florida Marlins win World Series

Women's pro hoop
meets with success

A Patriots surprise:
Super Bowl XXXI berth

Wil Cordero charged
with assaulting wife


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Check out the top news stories of 1997

Officer says Cordero's wife described an attack, threat

By William F Doherty, Globe Staff, 09/30/97

CAMBRIDGE - A Cambridge police officer testified yesterday that Ana Echevarria Cordero, the wife of former Red Sox outfielder Wilfredo Cordero, was hyperventilating, trembling and sobbing early in the morning of July 1 as she described how her husband had just hit her on the head with a telephone, slapped her in the face, poked her in the chest with his fingers and threatened to kill her.

But whether Officer Sean Tierney's observations will be repeated at Cordero's trial next month was the key issue yesterday at a hearing in Cambridge District Court, with Cordero's lawyers arguing they should not.

Since Mrs. Cordero has chosen not to testify against her husband, Tierney's version of what she said that night would normally be inadmissible as hearsay.

However, prosecutors Anne Edwards and Marguerite Grant claim the statements are admissible as "excited utterances," an exception to the hearsay rule.

Tierney said when he reached Cordero's Cambridge condominun about 1:38 that morning, five or six minutes after a 911 call from her, Mrs. Cordero had red marks on her arms, chest and neck as well as blood on her nose.

Much of yesterday afternoon was spent in closed door negotiations as the prosecution and defense tried, apparently unsuccessfully, to reach a plea bargain under which Cordero would avoid trial.

Cordero, who was released by the Red Sox Sunday minutes after their season ended, is charged with two counts of assault and battery against his wife, one with a dangerous weapon, as well as making a threat and violating a restraining order.

Earlier yesterday Judge Roanne Sragow denied a defense motion to dismiss the charges on the ground of "selective prosecution." Defense lawyers Kevin Burke and Stephen Follansbee claimed Cordero was targeted because he was a celebrity ballplayer, arguing that similar cases of first offenders where the victim declines to testify have been resolved without a finding of guilt and without any jail sentence.

Cordero faces possible imprisonment if he is convicted.

The hearing will resume today.


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