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Greg Hardy pleads not guilty to assault charge

Carolina Panthers defensive end Greg Hardy pleaded not guilty on Tuesday to charges stemming from an early-hours altercation with an ex-girlfriend in May.

The Charlotte Observer reported that Hardy arrived at Mecklenburg County Courthouse wearing a dark suit and Panthers-colored black and blue tie. He is charged with communicating threats and assaulting a female. The domestic violence charge could lead to a 60-day jail sentence.

Following his arrest, Hardy turned over 10 legally owned guns that were in his home at the time of the incident. In a protective order request, Hardy's accuser claimed Hardy "threw me onto a couch covered in assault rifles and/or shotguns."

Hardy, who tied a team record with 15 sacks last season, is set to make $13.116 million this season after signing the team's franchise tag and failing to work out a long-term deal before Tuesday's 4 p.m. ET deadline. 

The Panthers and NFL officials have stated they will wait for the legal process to play out before deciding on any discipline for the star defender.

UPDATE: Hardy was found guilty Tuesday on both charges. He was given a 60-day suspended sentence with 18 months' probation.

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