CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - The third-year University of Virginia student who was bloodied during an arrest by Virginia ABC agents in March is headed back to a Charlottesville courtroom Thursday. Martese Johnson's attorney has asked the court to drop the two misdemeanor charges he faces.
Johnson was charged with public intoxication and obstruction of justice, which would only result in a fine if he was found guilty.
The incident outside of Trinity's Irish Pub on St. Patrick's Day garnered national attention, as images of Johnson bleeding from his head spread across the country on social media.
Defense attorney Daniel Watkins explained Johnson presented a valid Illinois state identification card issued in 2011, as he attempted entry into the establishment. When the student was quizzed on the ZIP code, Watkins said Johnson recited the current ZIP code at his mother’s Chicago city address, which is different from the Chicago city ZIP code on the identification card.
Multiple witnesses and officials have said that Johnson was not intoxicated that night.
Watkins said in court papers his client was pushed to the ground after pulling his elbow from the grasp of one of the ABC agents — who tried stopping Johnson from walking away while he was being questioned. WTVR CBS 6 legal expert Todd Stone said Johnson had the constitutional right to do so, if ABC agents did not have reasonable suspicion a crime was committed.
A review of the incident by the Virginia State Police is complete and is in the hands of the Commonwealth Attorney's Office in Charlottesville. Their office is currently reviewing the case, and deciding whether to proceed with the charges.
CBS 6 will be in the courtroom today at 10 a.m. and bring you the latest updates.