Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Adrian Peterson's grand jury testimony leads to dropped charges

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Adrian Peterson’s lawyer, Rusty Hardin, had a problem.  And he came up with a solution that got the charges dropped.
Hardin believed Peterson wasn’t guilty of resisting arrest (to date, it still isn’t clear what he was being arrested for when he allegedly resisted arrest), but prosecutors had a pair of police officers who insisted that Peterson had crossed the line.  Since prosecutors routinely work with police officers, it would have been difficult for the prosecutor to drop the charges if the police officers wanted to proceed.
So Hardin came up with an idea.  Although grand juries are convened typically in felony cases, why not let a grand jury decide whether the case against Peterson should go forward?
Hardin explained the procedure via phone to PFT earlier this afternoon.  He said he was willing to let Peterson testify without a lawyer present in a room with 12 citizens and a prosecutor because Hardin firmly believed Peterson had done nothing wrong.
The prosecutor agreed to the approach, and Peterson flew to Houston on Monday night for the session.  On Tuesday morning, the two police officers, an employee of the club where the incident happened, and Peterson separately testified.  Peterson met with the grand jury for roughly 25 minutes.  Approximately five minutes after he left the room, the grand jury decided that the case should be dropped.
“We thought this is what would happen,” Hardin told PFT.  “But we thought we’d have to have a trial to make it happen.  He didn’t push shove or hit a police officer, and he didn’t resist any police officer.”
Hardin pointed out that three “red flags” made him even more confident Peterson would be exonerated.  First, several employees of the club insisted that Peterson did nothing wrong.  Second, four of the six police officers who were on the scene said they didn’t see anything.  Third, none of the many patrons who were present in the club for the incident were quoted as corroborating the arresting officer in the police report.
Officially, the charges will be dismissed on Wednesday.  When that happens, the best year of Adrian Peterson’s career will be a little better.
And the next time he comes to Houston, it won’t be for a court appearance.  It’ll be for a game next month against the Texans.
“I told him I hope he rushes for 200 yards and loses,” Hardin said.  “Adrian said, ‘I’ll take 200 and a win.’”

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