News  

 

Jonathan Martin pleads not guilty to four felony charges

Print

Former Miami Dolphins offensive lineman Jonathan Martin pleaded not guilty to five charges in connection to an image that was posted to one of his social media accounts last month that led to a Los Angeles-based school shutting down for the day, Los Angeles County District Attorney spokesperson Greg Risling told NFL.com.

Martin was charged March 13 with four felony counts of making criminal threats and one misdemeanor count of possessing a loaded firearm in public, according to Los Angeles County Court records obtained by NFL.com. He surrendered on Tuesday in a Van Nuys courtroom.

A preliminary hearing is scheduled for April 25 in Van Nuys. If convicted, Martin faces up to six years in custody.

An image posted to Martin's verified Instagram account on Feb. 22 showed a shotgun with ammo and the message: "When you're a bully victim & a coward, your options are suicide, or revenge." The image included references to the Dolphins, and Mike Pouncey and Richie Incognito -- his former Miami teammates who were part of a 2014 NFL investigation that determined Martin was victimized by a "pattern of harassment" directed toward him.

Harvard-Westlake School -- where Martin graduated from in 2008 and was shut down on Feb. 23 in response to the post -- and two other individuals also were referenced in the image. The post was made eight days after a gunman killed 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

Team officials with the Dolphins and the Buffalo Bills -- Incognito's current team -- alerted the NFL about the Instagram post after becoming aware of it the day after it was published.

TMZ first reported the charges against Martin.

Selected out of Stanford by the Dolphins in the second round of the 2012 NFL Draft, Martin started in 23 games over two seasons with the team. After leaving during the 2013 season, Martin accused multiple offensive line teammates of harassing him.

The Dolphins suspended Incognito for his alleged role in the incident, and an NFL investigation led by attorney Ted Wells determined, among other things, that the "harassment by Martin's teammates was a contributing factor in his decision to leave the team." It also found Martin was "taunted on a persistent basis with sexually explicit remarks about his sister and his mother and at times ridiculed with racial insults and other offensive comments."

In 2015, Martin wrote on social media he contemplated suicide during his NFL career and that he didn't fit in during his days at Harvard-Westlake.

"You learn to tone down your size & blackness by becoming shy, introverted, friendly, so you won't scare the little rich white kids or their parents," he wrote. "Neither black nor white people accept you because they don't understand you. It takes away from your self-confidence, your self-worth, your sanity."

Martin, 28, retired from the NFL following the 2014 season after appearing in 15 games with the San Francisco 49ers.

Print

Headlines

The previous element was an advertisement.

NFL Shop