Michael Bennett’s attorney says DE will plead not guilty if case reaches trial

Michael Bennett’s lawyer has a plan in place for his client.

Michael Bennett’s attorney says DE will plead not guilty if case reaches trial

Michael Bennett’s attorney says DE will plead not guilty if case reaches trial

Attorney Rusty Hardin on Friday said the Eagles defensive end will plead not guilty to his felony charge if the case goes to trial.

"The only two possible outcomes for this case is the DA's office [saying] they don't have a case and dismissing, or a trial — one or the other," Hardin told ESPN. "If and whenever they ask for a plea, it will be not guilty."

Bennett was taken into custody March 26 in Houston after his first court appearance since being indicted by the Harris County grand jury for allegedly injuring a woman after Super Bowl 51. His bond was set at $10,000 and he was issued a no-contact order by Judge Robert Johnson in the 177th Criminal Court before being taken away in handcuffs.

Hardin noted that no travel restrictions were put in place during the bond hearing, so Bennett is permitted to attend workouts with the team in Philadelphia. Last week, Eagles vice president Howie Roseman said he discussed the matter with Bennett and assured the veteran won't be released until the legal matter is settled since he "is innocent until proven guilty."

According to the grand jury indictment, Bennett allegedly tried to force his way onto the field after the Patriots' championship win over the Falcons in February 2017 and shoved a 66-year-old paraplegic woman working at NRG Stadium controlling access to the field. Bennett was a spectator watching his brother Martellus play for New England.

Still, Hardin insists he has witnesses who can confirm that Bennett was not involved in the incident.

"I just don't think he did it," Hardin said. "He certainly didn't do anything intentionally, or negligibly or recklessly push or hurt her. Now, did something else happen to her from somebody else? I just don't know.

"I think the bigger issue is there were a bunch of people going through that door, anywhere from 20 to 35 people rushing to go down on the field to see their loved ones and celebrate with them. He and his family were with a group of other Patriot family members, and when the game was over, these different families all went to the floor.

"I just know that this guy would never intentionally or knowingly push her or do anything to somebody in a wheelchair. That just didn't happen."


MORE:
Michael Bennett indicted for allegedly injuring paraplegic woman at Super Bowl 51
| Michael Bennett in custody on Houston indictment, reports say
| Michael Bennett’s attorney on Houston case: He 'flat out didn’t do it'

Bennett surrendered to authorities after prosecutors announced March 23 that he faces a single felony charge of injury to the elderly, which carries a maximum of 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

His next court appearance in Harris County is scheduled for April 23.

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