The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Former 'Scandal' star Columbus Short pleads not guilty to felony battery in Los Angeles

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LOS ANGELES, Calif. - Former "Scandal" star Columbus Short has pleaded not guilty to felony battery for a fight that seriously injured a man at a West Hollywood restaurant earlier this year.

Short appeared in court for a brief arraignment hearing on the case filed after he was accused of punching a man at the restaurant in March.

The actor's attorney Jeff Jacquet had sought to fast track the case, but Deputy District Attorney David Schorr said the injuries involved were too serious to qualify. He said Short is accused of cold-cocking a man, knocking him unconscious and fracturing his left eye socket.

Superior Court Judge Keith L. Schwartz said based on the injuries the case wasn't eligible for the so-called early disposition program, which could have settled the case before a preliminary hearing in which more details about the altercation would be disclosed.

Short was ordered to return to court on June 5 to set a date for the preliminary hearing.

The case is one of several involving Short and allegations of violence. He faces a misdemeanour spousal battery case and his estranged wife has a temporary restraining order against him. Tanee Short claims her husband threatened her with a knife during a fight in April.

She filed for divorce after the incident, and a hearing on the restraining order is scheduled for May 21.

Jacquet has said Short will contest the restraining order and it will require a lengthy evidentiary hearing.

Short announced last month that he wasn't returning to the hit series "Scandal" for its fourth season.

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Anthony McCartney can be reached at http://twitter.com/mccartneyAP

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