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Ex-Browns player pleads not guilty in NJ beating

Thursday - 6/27/2013, 1:25pm  ET

FILE - In this photo released Feb. 9, 2011 by the Harrisonburg, Va., Police Department, Virginia starting linebacker Ausar Walcott appears. The Cleveland Browns have released Ausar Walcott, who is charged with attempted murder for allegedly punching a man outside a club in northern New Jersey. Walcott turned himself in to Passaic police Tuesday, June 25, 2013, after he was identified as a suspect in an incident that happened around 3 a.m. Sunday. (AP Photo/Harrisonburg, Va., Police Dept., File)

PATERSON, N.J. (AP) -- A former rookie linebacker for the Cleveland Browns has pleaded not guilty to attempted murder and other charges in New Jersey.

Ausar Walcott was arraigned Thursday in Paterson, N.J. He is accused of punching Derek Jones in the side of the head outside The Palace Gentlemen's Club in Passaic early Sunday.

A prosecutor says Jones is in a medically induced coma at a New York hospital, where he's listed in critical condition.

The 23-year-old Walcott is being represented by a public defender while he attempts to hire an attorney. He is being held on $500,000 bail. The case will now go to a grand jury.

Walcott, who played for the University of Virginia, was signed by the Browns on May 13 following a tryout. The team released him Wednesday.

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