Not surprisingly, there’s yet another twist in the De’Andre Johnson saga.
Charged with a misdemeanor for an incident at a Tallahassee night club late last month, the quarterback was suspended and ultimately dismissed by Florida State after video of him punching a woman in the face went public, with FSU’s president issuing a statement of support for head coach Jimbo Fisher‘s decision. According to Johnson’s lawyer, however, there are mitigating factors behind the punch.
From our pals at NBC News:
The woman raised her fist and shouted “racial epithets” at Johnson when the player accidentally made contact when he was walking up to the bar, lawyer Jose Baez told NBC News.
Johnson “tried to deescalate the situation” but the woman “kneed him in the groin area” and “took another swing before he retaliated,” the attorney added.
The lawyer stated that he has witnesses who heard the racial slurs, although Johnson “makes no excuses for what happened.”
Baez, mostly known as the defense attorney in the infamous Casey Anthony case, added that while his client wasn’t the initial aggressor, he’s “owning this” situation and trying to learn from it.
“All he wants to do is learn from this experience and move on and get an education,” Baez said. “We certainly don’t want him to pay for the rest of his life for an incident that occurred in a bar.”
According to Baez, Johnson is currently volunteering at a battered woman’s shelter.