Judge announces verdict in Bengals’ Joe Mixon trial
CINCINNATI (WXIX) - Cincinnati Bengals running back Joe Mixon is not guilty of aggravated menacing, a Hamilton County judge ruled Thursday.
Mixon, 27, opted for a bench trial instead of a jury one so Municipal Court Judge Gwen Bender decided his fate.
The verdict in the alleged road case against Mixon, 27, came on the trial’s fourth day.
Mixon always maintained his innocence and smiled with relief at the judge’s announcement.
He thanked his defense team, veteran lawyers Scott Croswell and Merlyn Shiverdecker, and shook their hands.
If convicted, Mixon faced up to 180 days in jail.
The Bengals issued a statement shortly after the verdict:
“Since he joined the organization in 2017, Joe Mixon has been a valuable part of the Cincinnati Bengals. Joe has been a top-level running back with multiple 1000-yard rushing seasons, and he has been an even better teammate enjoying real popularity among his peers. During the past seven years, Joe has been active with the community, and his constant smile and energy have made him a favorite among thousands of fans.
“The organization is pleased that this matter is now behind everyone, and we look forward to an exciting season with Joe being an important part of the football team.”
Mixon’s defense pointed out that the Cincinnati police sergeant who testified Wednesday admitted police had no proof Mixon had a gun the night his accusor says he pointed one at her.
His defense also noted his accusor said she was not afraid.
Those points prompted the defense to seek Mixon’s acquittal earlier Thursday as the trial got underway, but the judge rejected their request.
His attorneys went right into closing arguments at that point without Mixon taking the stand in his own defense.
During closings, the prosecution said the victim never knew who allegedly threatened her during a traffic dispute Downtown until the charges were filed.
The incident happened shortly before the Bengals left for a playoff game in Buffalo back in January.
The prosecutor suggested Mixon accidentally got off on the Third Street exit by Paycor Stadium out of habit but needed to go home first and might have been running late for the team bus to the airport and that could have caused him to drive erratically.
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