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Apr 9, 2024 2:41 pm

Judge: Ja Morant punched teen in self-defense

ja morant grizzlies

Memphis Grizzlies star Ja Morant was acting in self-defense when he punched a teenager in July 2022, a Tennessee judge has ruled.

The incident occurred during a pickup game at the All-Star point guard’s home in Eads, Tenn.

Joshua Holloway filed a lawsuit in September 2022 accusing Morant of assault.

Morant testified during a hearing in December that he was protecting himself from Holloway, then 17, when he threw a punch.

In a court order released Monday, Shelby County Circuit Court Judge Carol Chumney granted Morant “the presumption of civil immunity” under Tennessee’s self-defense immunity statute. The burden of proof now shifts to Holloway’s legal team to prove Morant did not act in self-defense.

A trial is scheduled to begin in late April but is expected to be delayed, ESPN reported Tuesday.

“We’re disappointed, and we will continue to take the steps necessary to protect and advocate for Joshua,” Rebecca Adelman, Holloway’s attorney, told ESPN.

Adelman has filed a motion challenging Tennessee’s “stand your ground” law and argued that it violates her client’s rights to due process, according to The Commercial Appeal.

Attorneys for Morant did not respond to ESPN’s request for comment.

The ongoing lawsuit was part of a lost 2023-24 season for Morant, 24, who was suspended for the first 25 games after a viral video showed him brandishing a firearm in May 2023.

He played only nine games after his return before suffering a shoulder injury in practice that required season-ending surgery.

In five NBA seasons, the former No. 2 overall pick and 2019-20 Rookie of the Year has career averages of 22.5 points, 7.4 assists and 4.8 rebounds in 257 games (255 starts).

The Grizzlies (27-51) have four games left in a disappointing season, starting with Tuesday night’s visit from the San Antonio Spurs.

–Field Level Media

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