Appearing in a Virginia courtroom today, Titans wide receiver Justin Hunter was found not guilty on charges of assault and battery, according to Gabriella DeLuca of NewsChannel 3 (via Twitter).
Hunter, 24, originally faced a felony charge for an incident that took place in a Virginia Beach bar on the Fourth of July weekend. During a July arraignment, prosecutors said that Hunter started a bar fight on by punching a man in the face twice. According to prosecutors, after the bar was cleared, Hunter punched the man again while he was bent over spitting out blood on the sidewalk.
The man allegedly had a broken jaw as a result of the assault, and the Titans wideout faced a felony charge of malicious wounding. However, per an AP report, there were several people involved in the brawl, and the victim said Hunter didn’t land the most serious blow. The receiver’s attorneys argued that Hunter felt threatened, which is why he began throwing punches.
That original felonious charge was reduced to a misdemeanor assault and battery charge a few weeks ago, and today Hunter was found not guilty in court. While he’s in the clear from a legal standpoint, the NFL figures to complete its own investigation, and the former 34th overall pick could still face discipline from the league. Still, Hunter’s odds of serving a multi-game suspension due to the incident appear to have been significantly reduced as a result of the not guilty ruling.
Hunter, who has continued to play for the Titans while his legal situation plays out, was targeted just twice during Sunday’s game in Tampa Bay, catching one ball for 11 yards.