Apparently, having a track record of domestic assault charges and a girlfriend with a busted up face wasn’t enough to convince jurists that Denver Broncos WR Brandon Marshall was guilty of it this time - not even close. The ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION reports that it took a jury less than an hour to deliberate before acquitting Marshall of domestic assault charges filed by his girlfriend following a confrontation in March 2008.
Take that, “Outside the Lines”! Because while ESPN’s hard news program aired an in-depth report in late May on Marshall’s history of domestic abuse complaints, including no less than 13 cases where the police had the get involved, it doesn’t seem that report made its way down to Georgia. Or the jury actually chose to follow instructions and not watch or read anything involving the case. Yeah, right!
Ex-girlfriend Rasheedah Watley claimed that Marshall pushed her off of a bed and grabbed her by the neck after they got into an argument over her desire to get a restraining order against him. Photos taken by authorities after the incident showed Watley with “a busted lip, bruises and scratches on her neck and arm.”
Marshall did not take the stand in his defense (and apparently he didn’t need to). Instead, his lawyers portrayed Watley as a golddigger who was “overly emotional.” Which I would guess getting allegedly beaten by a hulking NFL player would do to you. But lawyer Harvey Steinberg also questioned why Watley stayed with Marshall so long:
“She needs Mr. Marshall. She needs him in her life,” Steinberg told the jury during closing arguments. “She cannot let go. She wants to be in his life no matter what. When is she going to leave him alone?”
Which would make a lot of sense, if it wasn’t for the fact that many battered women stay with their abusers, rationalizing excuses to avoid dealing with the ugly reality. I guess Ike Turner’s not such a bad guy in Steinberg’s world, either.
At Marshall’s side during the trial was his fiance Michi Nogami-Campbell, who you might remember for getting arrested with Marshall as part of a punch up they had earlier this year. It’s nice to see that those crazy kids aren’t letting something like a fistfight get in the way of true love. I’m sure they have nothing but peace and happiness in their lives.
Marshall was wearing an orange-and-blue tie during the reading of the verdict, clearly a sign that he’s ready to go play in the city that he hates so much. But at least he’s going to play: a conviction would have brought not only up to a year in jail, but an almost certain one-year ban from the NFL. But for now, there isn’t much that Commissioner Roger Goodell can do to touch him.