Rusty Hardin, the attorney for Philadelphia Eagles defensive end Michael Bennett, told ESPN on Friday that his client will plead not guilty if Bennett’s case goes to trial.
Earlier this week, Bennett turned himself in to authorities in Houston, Texas, on a felony charge of injury to the elderly, allegedly stemming from Bennett injuring a security guard while rushing onto the field to celebrate with his brother, Martellus, after Super Bowl XLI.
“The only two possible outcomes for this case is the DA’s office [saying] they don’t have a case and dismissing, or a trial — one or the other,” Hardin said. “If and whenever they ask for a plea, it will be not guilty.”
Bennett is next scheduled to appear in court in Harris County, Texas, on April 23, according to court documents. Hardin said he does not expect a plea request at that hearing; the attorney believes that will primarily be an opportunity for Hardin and the district attorney’s office to exchange information.
The 32-year-old Bennett, who was traded from Seattle to Philadelphia earlier this month, posted $10,000 bond on Monday, after a grand jury handed down an indictment over the alleged incident at NRG Stadium on Feb. 5, 2017.
According to Hardin, Bennett was not given travel restrictions at his bond hearing on Monday, meaning he is free to travel as necessary, including, obviously, to Philadelphia for offseason workouts with his new team.
If there are any conflicts with the Eagles’ schedule, Hardin said they will request a change of date so Bennett does not miss any days with the Eagles.
A release from the Harris County DA’s office says that after the New England Patriots’ come-from-behind win over the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl LI, Bennett shoved his way onto the field, past security personnel that included a 66-year-old paraplegic woman. That woman suffered a sprained shoulder, according to Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo.
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