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Beating of Brown University player self-defense, lawyer says

PROVIDENCE — A Connecticut Marine accused of beating a Brown University basketball player from Norwood, Mass., so badly that he was hospitalized with head injuries acted in self-defense, his attorney said Friday.

Tory Lussier, 24, of Vernon, Conn., made his initial appearance in Providence District Court on Friday on a felony assault charge. He was released on bail and had no comment outside court.

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But his lawyer, John Lombardi, told a judge it was a ‘‘clear case of self-defense.’’ Asked later to elaborate, ­Lombardi declined to do so.

Lussier is accused of assault­ing 21-year-old Joseph Sharkey early Sunday morning. Sharkey, a sophomore member of Brown’s basketball team, suffered serious head injuries and has been in critical condition at Rhode Island Hospital.

Lussier is an active member of the Marine Reserves and has served 10 months in Afghanistan, his attorney said.

In a separate criminal case in Rockville Superior Court in Connecticut, Lussier is out on bail and due back in court May 29. Vernon police arrested him in September and charged him with second-degree assault, second-degree assault of an elderly person, and breach of peace after an altercation in the parking lot of Connecticut Golf Land, an amusement park with miniature golf and go-karts.

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