Devin Cannady and Princeton hoop fans must wait at least another week for resolution of basketball star’s court battle

By Joel Alderman

Princeton’s Devin Cannady, along with Tiger fans and followers of the other seven Ivy League teams, have been put on hold for at least another week to find out what will happen to Cannady, the team’s high scoring senior, as he fights for more than a win on the basketball floor.

He is facing a reduced charge of simple assault after allegedly hitting a university police officer in the early morning hours of January 18th in an off campus Wawa convenience store.

His file remained in the prosecutor’s office at Mercer County Superior Court in Trenton, N.J. for about three weeks. After investigation, the charges were downgraded from a felony assault to a misdemeanor and the case was transferred to the Princeton Municipal Court, where it was first scheduled for yesterday, (Feb. 25th).

However, after it was called, it was adjourned to March 4th, according to Susan Shapiro, the Princeton Municipal Court Administrator. Cannady was not in court, and his attorney, Kim A. Otis, requested the adjournment (continuance). Atty. Otis explained the he had just recently received certain documents from the prosecutor and needed more time to review them.

The defense team

Atty. Otis is a partner in the Princeton firm of Haveson and Otis and is a graduate of Seton Hall. According to its website (, he was admitted to the New Jersey Bar in 1979.

The website states he was certified by the Supreme Court of New Jersey as a Criminal Trial Attorney and was formerly a prosecutor at various levels. It also states that he has “vast experience in the defense of … major criminal cases …”

When Atty. Otis asked for an adjournment, the prosecutor raised no objection, and the case was rescheduled to March 4th at 1 p.m.

The other team

By that time two more Princeton games, ostensibly without Cannady, who is averaging close to 18 points this season, will have been played, leaving two more in the regular season and at least one in the Ivy League four team tournament.

After he was arrested, which was during the mid-term break, Cannady missed three games. He was seen in street clothes on the Princeton bench for at least one of them, an easy win over Wesley, a small Division III college in Dover, Delaware.

He returned almost by surprise to the team against Yale in New Haven on Feb. 8th, scoring just eight points, far below his average. He played in three more games after that (Brown, Harvard and Dartmouth).

But last weekend Cannady was again out of action in Princeton’s victories over Cornell and Columbia. Coach Mitch Henderson said his absence was for “personal reasons” without indicating whether they were related to the legal situation.

If he does not return before the next court date, Princeton must make do without him on Friday at Dartmouth then the next night at Harvard. The game with the Crimson is especially crucial for the Tigers, as well as for Harvard. Both teams are currently tied for second place in the Ivy League, chasing Yale which has a one-game lead with four left.

Princeton judge and Princeton defendant

An interesting sidelight to the legal side of this story is the disclosure that the presiding judge, John McCarthy, is a 1969 graduate of Princeton, the same status Cannady hopes to achieve fifty years later in the spring of 2019.

Judge McCarthy assured the defense attorney and the prosecutor that he had no previous contacts with Cannady, and that he could act in a fair and impartial manner.

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