by Aaron Wilson
July 16, 02014
Carolina Panthers star defensive end Greg Hardy was found guilty by a judge of assaulting a former girlfriend and communicating threats.
Although sentenced to 18 months of probation, a 60-day suspended jail sentence and ordered to stay away from Nicole Holder by judge Rebecca Thorn-Tin, Hardy is appealing the misdemeanor convictions and will get a jury trial.
Hardy is allowed to travel. No jury trial court date has been set for the appeal that will be filed by attorney Chris Fialko.
"We have just learned of the verdict and are respectful of the process," the Panthers said in a statement. "We do not have a comment at this time."
Thorn-Tin said "the court is entirely convinced Hardy is guilty of assault on a female and communicating threats."
Holder said she was assaulted by Hardy after a night of partying. She acknowledged using cocaine and that she had been drinking. Holder said Hardy threatened to kill her and put his hands around her neck. There were photos of bruising on the woman taken by police.
"He looked me in my eyes and he told me he was going to kill me," Holder said. "I was so scared I wanted to die. When he loosened his grip slightly, I said just, `Do it. Kill me."
Holder said that Hardy became jealous when she had a brief relationship with rapper Nelly. She also said that Hardy had cheated on her several times.
"He had told me in past if I took food out of his family's mouth he was going to kill me," the accuser said.
Hardy denied the allegations. Hardy said the woman got mad at her when he refused to have sex with her and he left the bedrooom to sleep in the living room.
Hardy said the accuser then said, "Do you want to see crazy? I'll show you crazy."
Hardy said the woman threw herself into the bathtub, causing bruises and threatened to hill herself if she left his building.
Hardy said they broke up at the Pro Bowl, but had continued to have sexual relations.
Hardy, the Panthers' franchise player with a $13.1 million one-year year contract, tied a team record with 15 sacks last season.
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Aaron Wilson covers the Ravens for The Baltimore Sun