Teammates and friends who were with University of Maryland basketball star Len Bias in the hours before he collapsed in his campus dormitory room appeared yesterday before a Prince George's County grand jury investigating Bias' cocaine-induced death.
Among Bias' teammates who appeared in Upper Marlboro for the second day of the grand jury proceedings were Jeff Baxter, Keith Gatlin and Phil Nevin. All three shared a dormitory suite with Bias and players Terry Long and David Gregg. Maryland football players Ben Jefferson and Keeta Covington also went behind the grand jury's closed doors.
Because the grand jury meets in closed session to protect the privacy of witnesses, it could not be determined which of the witnesses testified. Baxter did not testify and will return today, according to a source close to Baxter.
Jay Tobin, the chief chemist for the Maryland State Police, testified yesterday, a source said. State police analyzed about 12 grams of cocaine that university police found in Bias' leased Nissan 300ZX sports car the day after he died. A source said that the cocaine was of "very high quality."
Covington has said that he and Jefferson were in Bias' dorm suite eating a crab dinner from late in the evening of June 18 until about 2 a.m. on June 19, when Bias left the dormitory. Covington has said he thought Bias left the dorm to visit a woman friend.
Madelyne Woods, a friend of Bias and an employe of WUSA-TV (Channel 9), said on the station's evening broadcast yesterday that she told the grand jury she was at Bias' dormitory suite from 11:30 p.m. June 18 until about 1 a.m. June 19. Woods said in the interview with the station that Gregg and Long also were in the dorm room, but that she saw no one using drugs or alcohol.
Prince George's State's Attorney Arthur A. Marshall Jr. has said he will try to reconstruct for the grand jury the last hours of Bias' life, from about midnight June 18 until 6:32 a.m. June 19, when a man who identified himself as Brian Tribble called the county's 911 emergency number asking for help.
The grand jury is trying to determine whether criminal indictments for possession of drugs will be issued against any persons who supplied cocaine to Bias or were using it with him before he died.
Investigators have said that Long, Gregg and Tribble, a friend of Bias and a former Maryland student, were with Bias when he collapsed about 6:30 a.m. on June 19. Marshall has said "evidence will show" that Tribble brought drugs into the dormitory room.
Gatlin and Baxter told police they were asleep in their rooms by 3 a.m. and woke to find paramedics trying to revive Bias. Nevin has said he returned to the dorm suite about 3 a.m. and went to his room.
Baxter and Tribble drove in Bias' leased car to Leland Memorial Hospital in Riverdale the morning of Bias' death, police sources said.
Long and Gregg have been subpoenaed, and their attorney, Alan Goldstein, said that if they are called to testify it will not be until Friday. Marshall has said he is not certain whether he will call either of them. The other members of the Maryland basketball team, including a team manager, are expected to testify tomorrow.
University Athletic Director Dick Dull is expected to testify Friday, as are one former and two current assistant basketball coaches.