Monday, September 25, 2023

Bengals running back Joe Mixon is not guilty of aggravated menacing, a judge ruled.

Mixon chose to have a bench trial before Hamilton County Common Pleas Judge Gwen Bender. It began Monday.

Prosecutors said Mixon cut off another driver in traffic and, after exchanging words, pointed a gun at her. According to the woman’s account, Mixon said he ought to shoot her and said police wouldn’t do anything to him.

Mixon’s lawyers argued that the woman, who is not being identified under Marsy’s Law provisions, became enraged after getting cut off and started the confrontation.

“He was screaming before my middle finger ever went up,” the woman said on the witness stand Tuesday.

During a recorded interview with police, the woman said her natural reaction, when she feels attacked, is to become angry, not scared. The defense lawyers have continually circled back to this statement during the trial.

The woman also admitted she flipped off Mixon, referred to him as a “b—-,” and repeatedly told him, “you’re what’s wrong with America.”

They argued that there was no proof Mixon was holding a gun other than the woman’s account and questioned the police work that lead to the charges.

Prosecutors called on a police officer and a co-worker of the woman. Both testified that she did seem visible shaken and scared briefly after the encounter.

Charged, dropped and recharged

Mixon was first charged with aggravated menacing in February. A warrant was issued, making national news. But the charges were immediately dropped so police could further investigate.

At the time, the prosecutor said charges could be refiled and said the woman who made the complaint indicated she would go forward with the case.

Police Chief Teresa Theetge said the investigation was not finished and there was a new piece of evidence. The case was assigned to a new investigator. Cincinnati’s police union president said the original investigator was transferred to a different district over the incident.

Mixon was recharged in April with the same misdemeanor. Aggravated menacing is a first-degree misdemeanor, the most serious level, and is punishable by up to six months in jail and a maximum $1,000 fine.

This article originally appeared on Cincinnati Enquirer: Verdict in for Bengals’ Joe Mixon menacing trial


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