Chad Johnson's attorney is pleading with the Florida judge who sentenced the ex-NFL player to 30 days in jail to reconsider her sentence.
The judge handed down the harsh sentence when she witnessed Johnson playfully slap his attorney Adam Swinkle on the rear end after she had given the former Miami Dolphin a lighter sentence for probation violation and asked him to thank his attorney for helping him get off easy. The judge was not amused by Johnson's love tap and added 30 days in jail to the community service she had previously ordered Johnson.
Now, Swinkle is asking the judge to overturn the ruling, insisting that the slap on the rear was a sign of respect and affection common in Johnson's profession of football.
"Mr. Johnson has been a professional football player in the National Football League for 11 years and patting another individual on the backside is viewed as a sign of respect and gratitude," says Swinkle in court docs. As for the judge's gripe against the laughter the incident caused in the courtroom, Swinkle says, "This is not Mr. Johnson's fault and he should not be punished for the actions of third parties."
Even Florida's attorney general, Pam Bondi, feels the judge on Johnson's case overreacted to the courtroom antics. "Although we never condone domestic violence, this event seems to question judicial temperament, not the subject matter before the court," Bondi tells TMZ.
Johnson was initially in court for failure to appear before his probation officer on multiple occasions. The athlete was on probation following a domestic violence incident against ex-wife Evelyn Lozada. No word yet on whether the judge agreed to overturn the sentence.
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(Photo: Jeff Daly/Invision/AP, File)