First Posted: 7/23/2013
LAS VEGAS — Former NFL running back Larry Johnson pleaded no contest Tuesday to charges that he choked an ex-girlfriend into unconsciousness and left her only in her underwear in a Las Vegas hotel hallway.
The 33-year-old was convicted of domestic violence battery and assault, which are both misdemeanors. A felony charge was dropped as part of a plea deal, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported (http://bit.ly/17B9Nzd ).
Johnson was sentenced to one year of probation and ordered to pay a $345 fine. He must also perform 48 hours of community service and attend six months of counseling.
“I’m just happy to have this behind me and go back to Florida and stay out of trouble for once,” Johnson said after the hearing, according to the newspaper.
Johnson was arrested Oct. 5 at a Bellagio hotel room. According to a police report, he and the woman had been drinking alcohol before the altercation, and the woman had marks on her face and bruises on her neck. Johnson had marks on his face that police attributed to the woman fighting him as he choked her.
The woman told officers she passed out and awoke in the 10th floor hallway and knocked on doors until someone called hotel security.
Johnson, who starred for the Kansas City Chiefs but most recently played for the Miami Dolphins in 2011, was arrested several times during his nine-year NFL career.
He was sentenced in March 2009 to two years of probation with a chance to have his record cleared for good behavior after pleading guilty to reduced disturbing the peace charges in separate cases involving two women at two Kansas City nightclubs.
In 2003, Johnson was charged with aggravated assault and misdemeanor battery after being accused of brandishing a gun during an argument with a former girlfriend. The charges were dropped after he completed a domestic violence diversion program.
Sign left at Paterno statue site
STATE COLLEGE — A sign reading “We won’t forget” has been left at the site where former Penn State football coach Joe Paterno’s statue once stood in State College. It marks the one-year anniversary of the date it was removed in the aftermath of the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal.
The Centre Daily Times reported the sign was left Monday outside Beaver Stadium.
A Penn State spokesman declined comment on the condition or location of the statue. University officials have said only that it is in a “secure location.”
On July 22, 2012, just before 6 a.m., workers used jackhammers to remove the statue and took it away with a forklift. The statue had become a lightning rod for public opinion amid the sex-abuse scandal.
Paterno died in January 2012.