mostlycloudy
Tuesday September 26th, 2017 2:19PM

Battery complaint dropped against Browns draftee Brantley

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Prosecutors dismissed a misdemeanor battery complaint against Cleveland Browns sixth-round pick Caleb Brantley, a defensive tackle from Florida, citing insufficient evidence.

"It is apparent that there is no reliable evidence upon which an arrest or prosecution would be warranted or legally justified," the office of State Attorney William Cervone said in a news release Wednesday announcing that it would not bring charges against Brantley. Cervone said the decision was made after interviews with the woman who made the complaint and other witnesses.

"I'm grateful for today's ruling," Brantley said in a statement released by the Browns. "I won't take the opportunity the Browns have given me for granted and now I can shift all my focus on working hard to make this football team while also showing my teammates, coaches, the organization and this community the type of person I really am."

A Gainesville police affidavit had said that Brantley and the woman were arguing shortly after 2 a.m. on April 13 when she pushed him. The affidavit said Brantley responded by hitting the woman in the face.

The Browns had raised some eyebrows when they drafted Brantley last month. He led the Gators with 9 1/2 tackles for loss and had 2 1/2 sacks and declared for the NFL following his junior season. Brantley was at rookie camp with the Browns last week.

Sashi Brown, the team's vice president of football operations, said in a statement that "based on our information, we understood there was a reasonable chance that the charges would be dismissed."

"As we have previously discussed, the allegations made regarding the incident were not something we take lightly," Brown said. "Caleb understands that we have an expectation and standard for every member of our organization. He's a talented young man with a great opportunity in front of him. Caleb must grow as a person from this situation. He is now able to move forward and focus on earning a spot on this roster."

Cervone said the woman who was in the dispute had been drinking heavily and was initially uncooperative and denied having been assaulted. Cervone added that she "has little to no memory of anything involved in the incident and cannot provide any credible testimony upon which a prosecution could go forward."

Cervone also said witnesses had been drinking as well and provided contradictory testimony. He said one "apparently neutral" witness supported Brantley's version of the events. And he noted that any injury that resulted from the incident was "relatively minor and inconsistent with any great force having been used against her."

"In essence, the facts suggest that the alleged victim's friends engaged Brantley in an unpleasant verbal exchange, during which the alleged victim began to physically punch or assault Brantley, causing him to shove her away," Cervone said.

He added that Florida's "stand your ground" law gave Brantley "the legal right to defend himself by pushing away someone who was punching and assaulting him."

"While it may not be popularly approved of or morally appropriate, that the alleged victim is a female of smaller stature than he does not change that," Cervone said.

Brandi Thomas, a lawyer representing the woman, called Cervone's ruling "disappointing" and said her client would "consider other options to legally pursue justice." Thomas said her client "still suffers significant injuries caused by Mr. Brantley, both physically and emotionally."

"We understand that the laws in the state of Florida require the state to investigate a potential stand-your-ground defense prior to filing charges," Thomas said. "The burden on the state oftentimes makes it difficult for them to pursue charges."

Brantley's lawyer, Amy Osteryoung, issued a statement praising Cervone's decision.

"It is obvious that the State Attorney's Office did a thorough investigation into this case," Osteryoung said. "It should be equally apparent that we agree with his decision."

___

For more NFL coverage: http://www.pro32.ap.org and http://www.twitter.com/AP_NFL

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Sports, AP Online Football, College Sports, AP Sports - College Football, AP Sports - NFL
© Copyright 2017 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Talks on airplane laptop ban end with no ban, more talks
Talks on a proposed U.S. ban on laptops and tablets in flights from Europe ended Wednesday with no ban _ and a promise of more talks and better intelligence sharing
3:58PM ( 5 minutes ago )
The Latest: Senate panel gets some material in Russia probe
A Senate aide says the Senate Intelligence committee has received some material it requested from two of President Donald Trump's associates
3:53PM ( 11 minutes ago )
The Latest: Macron seeks EU favorable to workers, investment
French President Emmanuel Macron says he wants a Europe that is both more conducive to investment and more protective of workers
3:49PM ( 14 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Nelson finale on course where Masters champs played as teens
The Byron Nelson is being played for the final time at TPC Four Seasons, where Masters champs Sergio Garcia and Jordan Spieth played as teenagers
3:10PM ( 53 minutes ago )
Sharapova says she'll 'rise up again' after French Open snub
Maria Sharapova is vowing to "rise up again," a day after she was denied a wild-card entry for the French Open
3:10PM ( 53 minutes ago )
Lawsuit: Baylor football players recorded gang rapes
A former volleyball player has sued Baylor University, alleging she was raped by football players who routinely recorded such attacks
2:05PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Sports
Pick 6: Kelly, Rodriguez, Mora in need of improvement in '17
The hot seat in college football can be defined as a coach who is danger of being fired if his team does not improve upon last season
2:25AM ( 13 hours ago )
Bon Jovi surprises grads, guests with commencement show
Bon Jovi entertains Fairleigh Dickinson grads, guests with surprise commencement performance
7:03PM ( 21 hours ago )
No problems reported in minute before deadly jet crash
Federal investigators say a Learjet that crashed outside New York City didn't report any problems to air traffic controllers a minute before the accident.
6:32PM ( 21 hours ago )
AP Online Football
Sheriff: Chiefs top draft pick Mahomes unharmed in robbery
Authorities in Texas say rookie Kansas Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes was unharmed after reportedly being robbed last weekend, and two suspects are in custody
4:42PM ( 1 day ago )
Tebow Watch: Former NFL QB has 1st RBIs in nearly a month
Tim Tebow drove in his first runs in nearly a month with two RBIs in a win in Delmarva (Maryland) this week
2:26AM ( 2 days ago )
Butt out to prove he's the best tight end in '17 draft class
Jake Butt is out to prove he's the best tight end in the 2017 draft class even though six tight ends were selected ahead of him
4:45PM ( 3 days ago )
College Sports
Rudolph trying to overcame father's death, make Giants team
Travis Randolph trying to overcame father's death, make Giants team
2:33PM ( 5 days ago )
Stay classy, USC, Will Ferrell delivers commencement talk
When Will Ferrell addresses the University of Southern California's Class of 2017 the question is: Will he tell graduates to "stay classy," as his TV anchorman alter-ego Ron Burgundy surely would
3:15AM ( 5 days ago )
Pick 6: OU's Brown, Texas' Williams among top OL in '17
Two offensive linemen were selected in the first round of last month's NFL draft, the fewest since 1965
9:19AM ( 1 week ago )
AP Sports - College Football
Cincinnati Bengals' 'Pacman' Jones pleads guilty to 1 count
Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Adam "Pacman" Jones has pleaded guilty to a single misdemeanor charge from an altercation this year
10:59AM ( 1 day ago )
Pretrial hearing set for Cincinnati Bengals' 'Pacman' Jones
A judge plans a pretrial hearing in the case of Bengals cornerback Adam "Pacman" Jones, who faces three misdemeanor charges, including assault, over an altercation at a Cincinnati hotel
7:01AM ( 1 day ago )
Conan jokes may have killed, but he stands accused of theft
An unusual lawsuit accusing Conan O'Brien of stealing jokes is moving forward
3:28AM ( 1 day ago )
AP Sports - NFL
The Latest: Senate panel gets some material in Russia probe
A Senate aide says the Senate Intelligence committee has received some material it requested from two of President Donald Trump's associates
3:53PM ( 11 minutes ago )
The Latest: Macron seeks EU favorable to workers, investment
French President Emmanuel Macron says he wants a Europe that is both more conducive to investment and more protective of workers
3:49PM ( 14 minutes ago )
Gisele Bundchen: Tom Brady had a concussion last year
Gisele Bundchen says her husband Tom Brady suffered a concussion last year, a season in which he started all the games he was eligible to play in while quarterbacking the Patriots to another Super Bowl title
3:38PM ( 25 minutes ago )
Spreadsheets and determination lead to Geographic Bee win
This year's National Geographic Bee champion spent a year foregoing school field trips and friends' birthday parties to pore over spreadsheets he created with dossiers on every country in the world
3:38PM ( 25 minutes ago )
Bee industry buzzing: Stolen hives recovered in California
The bee industry is buzzing over the arrest of a California man accused in one of the biggest thefts of beehives on record
3:33PM ( 30 minutes ago )