Crime
8:28 am
Wed July 16, 2014

Panthers’ Hardy Guilty Of Assault

Carolina Panthers defensive end Greg Hardy walks to court Tuesday morning, July 15, 2014, to face charges that he beat up his ex-girlfriend during an altercation at his residence in May.
Credit Robert Lahser / Charlotte Observer

Tuesday night, Carolina Panthers defensive end Greg Hardy was found guilty of misdemeanor assault and communicating threats to an ex-girlfriend in May.

Hardy was sentenced to 18 months of supervised probation and 60 days of jail time if he violated probation. But a district judge stayed his sentence while Hardy appeals his conviction.

Twelve witnesses took the stand during a trial that lasted ten hours and wrapped up around 9 o'clock.

This audio is pending

Greg Hardy’s facial expression changed as his ex-girlfriend took the stand. The corners of his lips dropped. He looked uncomfortable, rarely looking directly at Nicole Holder as she testified that on May 13 Hardy choked her, dragged her by her hair from a bathtub and threw her onto a futon with loaded guns. She said she thought she was going to die. So she told him he should go ahead and just kill her.

Hardy had a different story. He testified that he was trying to get her to leave and it was Nicole Holder who attacked him. His testimony mirrored what he told a 911 operator the night of the incident.

Greg Hardy's 911 call.
Nicole Holder stands besides attorney Daniel Zamora as he speaks to reporters at the Mecklenburg County courthouse after the verdict.
Credit Tasnim Shamma

Assistant district attorney Jamie Adams argued the 9-1-1 call was essentially a cover up. And District Judge Becky Tin agreed, saying the call was an effort to concoct an alibi. In delivering her verdict from the bench, Judge Tin referenced the testimony of a woman named Christina Lawrence.

Lawrence was in Hardy’s apartment with Nicole Holder when she said she heard what sounded like a body being slammed against a wall. She ran out and called police. Judge Tin said Lawrence was a key witness and corroborated Holder's testimony.

During the trial, Hardy's attorney Chris Fialko said Holder was an erratic woman who was motivated by money. He appealed the ruling and gave a brief statement outside the courthouse.

"Greg Hardy will now have a jury trial -- a brand new jury trial and we're confident he will be acquitted on both of these charges at this jury trial," Fialko said. 

After the verdict, Nicole Holder's attorney Daniel Zamora said the judge’s verdict sends a strong message that anyone who assaults and threatens to kill a woman, regardless of status, will be held accountable. He says Holder is considering filing a civil lawsuit against Hardy.

Hardy is now back to the conditions set during the original bond hearing. He's not allowed to contact Holder, not allowed to access weapons or firearms and he must continue to attend Alcoholics Anonymous meetings.