Former NFL player Jonathan Martin to stand trial over Instagram threat

Former NFL player Jonathan Martin to stand trial over Instagram threat

Former Dolphins offensive lineman Jonathan Martin will stand trial on criminal chargers stemming form a controversial post on his Instagram account from February 2018, a Los Angeles judge ruled Wednesday, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Shellie Samuels said in court Martin’s post was specific enough to constitute a viable threat, according to the New York Daily News, and there was enough evidence to make Martin “answer” for three felony charges in the case.

The post from February read, in part: “When you’re a bully victim & a coward, your options are suicide, or revenge.” It also included hashtags for his former school, Harvard-Westlake, and he tagged four former teammates, including Richie Incognito and Mike Pouncey.

Martin was facing four charges relating to the controversial Instagram post, which featured a photo of a shotgun and 19 shells. The four charges represent each of the people Martin tagged in the post, though one of the criminal threats was dismissed Wednesday because Pouncey, who was a target, said he was “not concerned” with the post, according to Martin’s attorney Winston McKesson.

“Nineteen shells is a mass shooting, killing more than one person, revenge,” the judge said, per the Daily News. “I think that’s unequivocal enough (under the law) to be a criminal threat.”

Additionally, Martin was charged with one count of carrying a loaded firearm in public.

McKesson explained in court, via the Times, that Martin’s post was ambiguous and he doesn’t believe his client’s post should warrant criminal threats. He added, “It’s not a threat … it was a cry fro help.” McKesson revealed Martin checked himself into a hospital soon after February’s post. 

The Instagram post resulted in Harvard-Westlake closing for the day and Martin was taken to a nearby hospital. He was later arrested on criminal threat charges, and pleaded not guilty.

The former lineman, who hasn’t played in the NFL since 2015, has previously posted on social media that he suffered from depression and attempted to commit suicide.

Martin will appear in court Jan. 30 for a pretrial hearing, the Times notes.