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Syracuse Football: Naesean Howard Indicted On First-Degree Assault

He can face up to 25 years in prison, if convicted.

Former Syracuse Orange football player Naesean Howard was indicted Thursday on a charge of first-degree assault and can be sentenced to up to 25 years in prison, if he's convicted.

Howard, who was dismissed from the program in 2014, is accused of stabbing ex-teammates, and current redshirt junior defensive backs, Chauncey Scissum and Corey Winfield on April 16 at an outdoor barbecue on Syracuse University's South Campus.

Scissum was taken to the hospital in critical condition after receiving stab wounds on the right side of his neck, right upper chest, left shoulder and bottom lip. Winfield, who was released from the hospital after two days, was stabbed in his lower right back, upper right chest, left abdomen and left wrist, according to police.

In addition to the first-degree assault charge, Howard was also indicted on a charge of second-degree assault and fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon, a misdemeanor.

Howard was originally arrested on two counts of assault in the second degree and criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree. Assault in the second-degree is only punishable up to seven years in prison, while assault in the first-degree is punishable up to 25.

Howard's lawyer, Aurora Flores, previously told Syracuse.com that "there's a lot more to the story than him just showing up and stabbing two people." Judge James Cecile previously ordered a mental health exam for Howard, the results of which are not yet known.

Eight days prior to the stabbing, Howard told Syracuse.com's Nate Mink in an interview that he believed Scissum and Winfield "were jealous" of him and purposely got him drunk and recorded an embarrassing video of him during a recruiting visit he took prior to enrolling at Syracuse.

Howard said that he believes that incident is what initially put him on thin ice with then-head coach Scott Shafer, leading to further run-ins with the former coaching staff and his eventual dismissal from the program.

Howard currently remains out on bail, with no set date for his arraignment.