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Suspect in high school football hazing case fires attorney during court hearing

Posted at 7:07 PM, Nov 09, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-10 11:32:40-05

Chandler police say they have launched a victim intimidation investigation after a video was posted online showing a victim in the Hamilton High football hazing case.

Six football players have alleged they were abused, some sexually, by other players in the locker room. 

Three players, who were arrested in March, face criminal charges. Nathaniel Thomas, 17, faces the most serious charges, and he has been charged as an adult.

In the video, the victim says Thomas is innocent, and the boy recants his prior allegations of a crime. 

The victim's lawyer says the statements were coerced. The boy and his mom filed an injunction against harassment against the young woman who allegedly recorded the video.

During a court hearing Wednesday, Nathaniel Thomas officially fired his defense attorney, Ken Countryman. 

In a court document, Countryman said he had disagreements with Thomas' mother, and the Thomas family says Countryman did not effectively communicate with them on the case.

In court, the judge warned Thomas of the consequences of victim intimidation and witness tampering.  Both Thomas and his attorney argue the 17-year-old defendant had no involvement in the video.