Developments in Michael Bennett’s ongoing legal drama continued to filter out Monday afternoon after the Philadelphia Eagles defensive end appeared in a Houston courtroom with his lawyer Rusty Hardin. Bennett is accused of shoving a 66-year-old paraplegic security guard while attempting to get onto the field to celebrate with his brother Martellus, following the New England Patriots stunning comeback win in Super Bowl LI, which took place at Houston’s NRG Stadium.
Hardin, who’s defended a plethora of high-profile professional athletes over the course of his career laid out the essence of Bennett’s defense. Hardin explained that his client didn’t even touch the paraplegic security guard he is accused of assaulting.
“He just flat-out didn’t do it. It wasn’t a case of, ‘He didn’t shove her that hard,’ or anything like that. … He never touched her.”
Hardin only has to create reasonable doubt that the incident was an accident so for him to assert that there wasn’t any contact at all is an interesting legal strategy. Considering there was no video of Bennett’s alleged assault, witness testimony will be paramount.
And according to Hardin, he has witnesses who can testify that Bennett never shoved the woman.
“There were bunches of families going through that door,” Hardin told the Inquirer and the Daily News. “They all tried different places. Everybody sort of streamed through there. I’m not sure this woman knew who [shoved her.]”
This the only time in 2018, you’ll hear a Hardin in Houston arguing to anyone who’ll listen that there was no contact as he tried to get through a scrum. Hardin was most taken aback by the vitriolic tone of Houston PD Chief Art Acevedo’s press conference remarks Friday, in which he called Bennett “morally corrupt” and “pathetic.”
“I’ve never seen it before. We don’t talk about capital murder defendants like that,” Hardin said.
A trial date hasn’t been set, assuming there is one instead of a plea, but for better or worse this is shaping up to be one of the most bizarre legal sagas involving a professional athlete in recent years,
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