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Steelers CB Justin Layne reaches plea deal to resolve Ohio gun charge

WILLOUGHBY HILLS, Ohio -- Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Justin Layne reached a plea deal to resolve charges stemming from a traffic stop in Ohio last month where authorities said they found a loaded gun in his car.

Layne, 23, was arrested on a fourth-degree felony charge of improper handling of a firearm in a motor vehicle following the April 23 stop in Willoughby Hills. That charge was dropped when he pleaded guilty Wednesday in Willoughby Municipal Court to a misdemeanor charge of possessing criminal tools and two traffic violations. Layne received a suspended 180-day jail sentence, must serve six months probation and perform 32 hours of community service.

Police stopped Layne around 1:20 a.m. when his Dodge Charger was going 89 mph in a 60-mph zone. A records check showed he was driving with a suspended license and he had an outstanding warrant for failure to appear on a traffic violation in another jurisdiction, police said.

They said they searched the car after smelling marijuana and seeing loose particles of it scattered throughout the vehicle. That search revealed a loaded Glock pistol in the center console, police said. They said Layne wasn't a licensed conceal-carry permit holder in Ohio.

Layne played 16 games but made no starts last season for the Steelers, who selected him out of Michigan State in the third round of the 2019 draft. He had 10 tackles on defense and 12 more on special teams last season.

The Steelers declined comment on the matter Thursday, while a message left for Layne's agent was not immediately returned.

Copyright 2021 by The Associated Press