Greg Hardy misconstrues the circumstances of the dismissal of his criminal case
At one point during his “exclusive” interview with ESPN, free-agent defensive end Greg Hardy accurately describes the finding of guilt in his domestic violence case by a judge as a product of North Carolina legal procedure. It wasn’t a conclusive determination; it was a preliminary step on the way to a jury trial that would have resolved the situation.
Hardy later misses the mark -- badly -- when explaining why his jury trial ultimately was scrapped in lieu of a dismissal of the charges.
Here’s the question from Adam Schefter: “When Nicole Holder did not show up in court in February ’15, the case was dismissed. To your idea, what happened there?”
Said Hardy: “To the language of it, it’s dismissed with prejudice. So I think that means it had something to with evidence or something of that nature that they can’t continue with the case. And that’s what I got out of it. Other than that, like, you know, with my agent, I just sit back and give you the truth that I know to be the truth and let God take control over it.”
Here’s the real truth. The case was dismissed because Nicole Holder didn’t show up for trial, and because she couldn’t be found. Reportedly, Hardy cut Nicole Holder a check in order to ensure that she wouldn’t show up, resolving her civil claims against him in exchange for an agreement not to make herself available to testify in the criminal trial.
That’s not criticism of Holder. Justice comes in many shapes and sizes. For Holder, she opted (reportedly) to take the settlement and move on. While she could have testified at his criminal trial and separately sued, the timing of the settlement necessarily made the deal more valuable to Hardy. Which may have made the ultimate offer much larger than it otherwise would have been. (Hardy wasn’t asked the amount of the civil settlement.)
So technically, Hardy is indeed “innocent” because his Constitutional presumption of innocence never was erased by the introduction of proof beyond a reasonable doubt. There wasn’t proof beyond a reasonable doubt -- indeed, there was no proof at all -- because Holder didn’t show up to provide the proof.
This doesn’t mean he didn’t do what he’s accused of doing. If he didn’t do it, he should have saved his money, faced the charges, and trusted that he’d ultimately be declared not guilty by a criminal trial court.