Carolina Panther Greg Hardy was found guilty Tuesday night of assaulting his former girlfriend and threatening to kill her. Attorneys for the 25-year-old Pro Bowl defensive end announced an immediate appeal. That means Hardy will have a second day in court, this time before a jury and likely after the NFL team’s upcoming season. “We respect the judge’s decision today,” said Hardy’s attorney, Chris Fialko. “But Greg Hardy will now have a jury trial, a brand-new jury trial, and we’re confident he will be acquitted on both of these charges.” Mecklenburg District Judge Becky Thorne Tin sentenced Hardy to a 60-day suspended sentence and 18 months’ probation on the misdemeanor charges, a punishment set aside by the appeal. The decision raises more questions about Hardy’s long-term status with the team. He signed a $13.1 million, one-year contract with the team this spring. But character concerns have followed Hardy since high school. Following Hardy’s arrest, the Panthers said they would defer judgment until after the trial. “We have just learned of the verdict and are respectful of the process,” the team said in a statement Tuesday night. “We do not have a comment at this time.” The judge’s verdict followed an exhaustive 10-hour trial, unusual in domestic-violence court, where women and men are forced to sit on separate sides of the aisle and cases can be settled in minutes. The case against Hardy, however, started in late morning and ended at 9 p.m. It drew a dozen witnesses and featured hour after hour of testimony into the darker side of youth, beauty and celebrity, with drugs, sex and violence playing key roles in the narrative.
Panthers Greg Hardy guilty of assaulting female, communicating threats
Charlotte Observer | Jul 16