Hardy's next trial could start at end of Panthers season

by: Mark Becker Updated:


CHARLOTTE, N.C. - The new trial of Carolina Panthers star Greg Hardy may not come before the end of the Panthers' season.
When it does happen, it could last as long as a week and involve more witnesses and more drama than the trial that led to his conviction on domestic violence charges Tuesday night.
"It's got everything -- sex and drugs and rock-and-roll," said attorney George Laughrun who has represented star athletes in other cases in Charlotte.
Soon after a district court judge found Hardy guilty of assault and communicating threats, his attorney said they would appeal the conviction. 
That means Hardy would get a new trial before a jury but the question is when.
A spokeswoman for Mecklenburg County's District Attorney said they have more than 500 cases waiting to go to trial on appeal and that the wait is typically six months or more. 
That would put the trial sometime in January or February at the earliest and that is very close to or after the end of the Panthers' season.
Laughrun said the jury selection process could take days and the delay would give Hardy's attorneys more time to prepare their defense.
He also says the admissions by Hardy's ex-girlfriend that she had been drinking and using drugs hard to overlook.
"How does that play (with) 12 traditionally conservative jurors? It may not fare very well," Laughrun said.

"On the other side you have an athlete who the public wants to hold to a higher standard and the conduct he was engaged in."

Either way, Laughrun said, Hardy's attorneys only need to convince one juror out of 12 that he's not guilty.
“You have 12 jurors and all you need is one,” he said. “All you need is one for a hung jury."