Grizzlies Player Pleads Not Guilty To Domestic Assault - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Grizzlies Player Pleads Not Guilty To Domestic Assault

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    Friday, October 4 2013 3:43 PM EDT2013-10-04 19:43:45 GMT
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Memphis Grizzles unrestricted free agent James Johnson pleaded not guilty to domestic assault charges in Court Monday morning. Johnson was arrested early Saturday morning on a domestic assault charge involving his wife. He is due back in court Friday.

It wasn't hard to pick out Johnson as he made his way through the masses on the first floor of the Criminal Justice Center at 201 Poplar.

According to Memphis Police, the couple got into some type of altercation as they were leaving Beale Street early Saturday morning. The 27-year-old's wife called police after she says Johnson hit her in the face with his open hand and choked her.

The police report stated Johnson also pushed his wife's mother, took their young child, and ran off. He was arrested when he came back to his downtown home and charged with domestic assault.

Johnson posted a $1,000 bond after his arrest and was released.

Defense attorney Leslie Ballin told FOX13 News his client is innocent and he hopes Johnson will get a fair hearing at his next court date on Friday, June 13.

"My hope is that this case is handled the exact same as if my client was not a basketball player," Ballin said. "That's all we're asking for is an even playing field, that it not be given anymore consideration or any less consideration.

Johnson is the second Grizzlies player to be arrested on a domestic violence charge. In 2010, former Grizzlies back up center Hamed Haddadi was arrested after an altercation with his girlfriend that led to her receiving cuts and bruises.

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Memphis Grizzlies unrestricted free agent James Johnson was arrested early Saturday morning after a domestic dispute with his wife at their home in downtown Memphis. Investigators say the couple got into some type of altercation as they were leaving Beale Street around 2 a.m. The 27-year-old's wife called police after she says Johnson hit her in the face with his open hand and choked her.

She also told officers the NBA player punched a hole in their bathroom door, which is where she was waiting while holding their child. Officers say the victim gave the baby to her mother and Johnson then pushed that woman and took the baby before running away from the scene. Johnson eventually returned and was taken to jail.

He's been charged with Domestic Assault-Bodily Harm. The victim refused medical treatment, but officers say she did not have any visible injuries to her face or neck. Officers say the couple had been drinking in their home earlier that evening. Johnson is currently an unrestricted free agent with the Memphis Grizzlies. The Grizzlies released the following statement Saturday:

"We are currently gathering information regarding this morning's report involving James Johnson. We have no further comment at this time."

Johnson is currently out of jail after posting a $1,000 bond. He's expected to make his first appearance in court Monday morning.

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