- The Associated Press
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Former NFL star Chad Johnson was sentenced Monday to 30 days in jail for a probation violation in a domestic violence case by a judge who angrily rejected a no-jail plea deal after Johnson playfully slapped his attorney on the backside in court.
Johnson had reached a deal with prosecutors calling for community service and counseling instead of jail. Broward County Circuit Judge Kathleen McHugh said she would tack on three months’ probation because Johnson had failed to meet with his probation officer during three previous months.
It was all set until Johnson, when asked by McHugh if he was satisfied with his lawyer, Adam Swickle, gave the attorney a light swat on the rear — as football players do routinely. The courtroom erupted in laughter, and at that McHugh said she wouldn’t accept the deal.
“I don’t know that you’re taking this whole thing seriously. I just saw you slap your attorney on the backside. Is there something funny about this?” McHugh said, slapping the plea deal document down on her desk. “The whole courtroom was laughing. I’m not going to accept these plea negotiations. This isn’t a joke.”
Johnson tried to apologize and insisted he meant no disrespect. “This is your courtroom. I have no intent to make this a joke. It’s not funny,” Johnson told the judge. “My life is in a shambles right now and I try my best to laugh and keep a smile on my face.”
Johnson was on probation after pleading no contest to head-butting his then-wife, TV reality star Evelyn Lozada, during an altercation last August. She quickly filed for divorce after barely a month of marriage, and Johnson, a six-time Pro Bowl wide receiver, was immediately released by the Miami Dolphins.
RAVENS: Pro Bowl fullback Vonta Leach says he expects to be cut or traded after he and the team failed to work out an agreement on his salary for the upcoming season.
BILLS: Rookie quarterback EJ Manuel took a big step forward in the competition to win the starting job when the team released veteran Tarvaris Jackson.
Jackson’s departure leaves Manuel, the 16th overall pick in this year’s draft, competing with Kevin Kolb, who the Bills signed in free agency in April.
BUCCANEERS: Tackle Gabe Carimi passed a physical, completing a trade that brings the former first-round draft pick to Tampa Bay from the Chicago Bears in exchange for a sixth-round selection in 2014.
JETS: Veteran tight end Kellen Winslow and wide receiver Mike Sims-Walker will get tryouts during minicamp, which starts Tuesday.
Winslow barely played last season, making just one reception for New England in one game. He spent his first four seasons in Cleveland, making the Pro Bowl in 2007, and was with Tampa Bay for three seasons.
Sims-Walker last played for Jacksonville in 2011.
BENGALS: Court documents show cornerback Adam “Pacman” Jones has been arrested and jailed on an assault charge after police said he tried to hurt a woman.
A police complaint says Jones is accused of striking the Cincinnati woman shortly before midnight June 5. The police report lists the injury as apparently minor.
Jones was arrested Monday. A message left for his agent hasn’t been returned.