Former NFL lineman Jonathan Martin to stand trial for threatening Instagram post
A judge ruled Wednesday that former Miami Dolphins offensive lineman Jonathan Martin must stand trial for multiple felony charges related to the threatening post he made on Instagram in February 2018, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Martin was facing four felony charges after he posted a picture of a shotgun and ammunition on his Instagram story.
The text on the post read: “When you’re a bully victim & a coward, your options are suicide, or revenge.” He also tagged former teammates Richie Incognito and Mike Pouncey, the Dolphins, Harvard-Westlake, his former high school, and two former high school classmates.
Harvard-Westlake — a prep school in the Los Angeles area — closed for one day due to the threat, as it was made just nine days after a gunman killed 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.
Martin was also charged with carrying a loaded firearm in public. One of the felony charges was dismissed Wednesday, per the report, because Pouncey was “not concerned” with the post.
Martin was detained for questioning at the time of the post and released. He later turned himself in to police after a warrant was issued for his arrest.
He also checked into a mental health facility on the day of the post.
“It’s not a threat … it was a cry for help,” Martin’s lawyer, Winston McKesson, told the Los Angeles Times, arguing that the post was not specific enough to be an actual threat.
Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Shellie Samuels felt differently.
“It does say suicide or revenge,” Samuels said, via the New York Daily News. “That does sound equivocal on its face. However, on the photo, there are 19 shells. Suicide would take one shot. Nineteen shells is a mass shooting, killing more than one person, revenge. I think that’s unequivocal enough (under the law) to be a criminal threat.”
Martin played for the Dolphins for two seasons from 2012-2013, and one for the San Francisco 49ers in 2014. He was cut in March 2015.
Martin had a rough relationship with Incognito and Pouncey while on the Dolphins. The pair, along with a third teammate John Jerry, subjected Martin to “a pattern of harassment” in “a classic case of bullying,” in 2013, according to an NFL investigation. The incident led to Martin being traded to the 49ers and Incognito being suspended for the rest of the season.
Martin is scheduled to appear in court next on Jan. 30.
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