Pitino Extortion Case Heads To Court

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - A federal judge has modified release conditions for the woman charged with trying to extort $10 million from Louisville men's basketball coach Rick Pitino.

Magistrate Judge Dave Whalin on Tuesday took out language that specifically barred Karen Sypher, estranged wife of Pitino's equipment manager, from speaking ill of Pitino.

Sypher's lawyer, Thomas Clay, said Whalin took the step to ensure the language did not infringe on his client's right to free speech.

Sypher was charged Friday in a federal criminal complaint that also accused her of lying to the FBI. She did not enter a plea and was released on her own recognizance.

The case is scheduled for a preliminary hearing May 13 at U.S. District Court.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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