A couple have filed an assault and battery lawsuit against Draymond Green of the Golden State Warriors in connection with two alleged physical encounters that occurred in Michigan last summer.
Assault and Battery Charges Against Basketball Star
Jermaine Edmondson and his girlfriend Bianca Williams of Woodland Hills, CA allege that Green assaulted and bullied them when they ran into him on two successive evenings last summer in East Lansing, Mich.
Edmondson, a student and football player at Michigan State University, and Williams claim they were assault and choked by members of Green’s entourage on July 9, 2016 after Green bumped into Edmondson at a bar. The couple is also alleging that the basketball star also and made a derogatory comment towards Edmondson.
“Then he looked at me in the eye and said, ‘I know n– like you, I pay for n– like youse’ scholarship,'” said Edmondson.
“When I saw Jimmy being choked, I tried to get to him, and I kept screaming, ‘stop, that’s my boyfriend,'” Williams said. “One of the men who was choking him turned around to me and said, ‘I don’t give a f- who your boyfriend is, and he choked me.”
The two claim they ran into Green a second time the following evening at another bar.
“I told him (Green) that last night didn’t have to happen, and that it was uncool that Bianca got choked,” Edmondson said. “His response was to punch me in the face without any warning or any reason.”
An officer reportedly witnessed the July 10 incident and arrested Green on misdemeanor assault charges. Those charges were dropped later after Green reached a plea deal to pay a $500 fine in exchange for avoiding jail time.
The couple’s recent lawsuit alleges Green received celebrity treatment and also alleges “assault, battery and related claims based on” Green’s “alleged acts of violence against a young man and woman.”
Edmondson and Williams are being represented by attorney Lisa Bloom.
“He’s (Green) already been fined over $150,000 for kicking and striking other players in the groin during games just last year, and he was suspended for that outrageous behavior,” Bloom said. “Unfortunately, he seems to have learned nothing for those sanctions.”
The Warriors provided released this statement: “This threatened lawsuit relates to an incident that occurred in East Lansing, Michigan, over a year ago, for which Draymond paid a noise violation fine. The Warriors will have no further comment at this time.”
“This is a California lawsuit that we are filing,” Bloom said. Green lives in California now “Mr. Green, we believe, is a California resident, because he plays in Oakland, he’s here many days of the year, he owns property here.”
Assault v. Battery
According to the California Penal Code, assault is defined as an “unlawful attempt” to cause a “violent injury on the person of another.”
Assault is also often described as an attempt to commit battery, but it’s important to note that the “assault” and “battery” are actually two different things despite the fact that they are commonly combined as “assault and battery.”
“Battery” describes force or violence used against another person. To clarify the difference between the two – assault is an attempt and battery is the actual violent act.
In California, assault and battery laws fall under both criminal and civil law.
To Be Convicted of Assault
To be able to be convicted of an assault charge, a prosecutor needs to show that the defendant intended to commit a battery (remember, battery is the actual violent act) and that he or she has the “present ability” to do so. “Present ability” means a person’s immediate capacity to do an act. This means that a prosecutor would need to show that the person who committed the assault was also capable of committing the battery.
A prosecutor would not need to show that physical contact actually happened.
To be able to convict a defendant of a battery charge, a prosecutor would need to prove the defendant willfully made contact with the victim.
Charges of Battery
The California Penal Code also defines various degrees of severity for battery.
Such is the case for Carpenter, who was also charged with personally inflicting great bodily injury.
While Section 242 of the Penal Code sets forth a basic law for battery, Section 243(d) refers to “serious bodily injury.”
There are also specific codes regarding battery against peace officers, police officers, firefighters, emergency response technicians, school employees, and other first defenders. The Penal Code also outlines separate laws for battery in the context of domestic violence.
Penalties for Assault and Battery
Penalties and sentencing for assault or battery are dependent on how severe the crime was, in addition to if there were any additional aggravating circumstances (such as use of a weapon), as well as the defendant’s criminal history.
Penalties for Assault
The Penal Code sets a maximum fine of $1,000 for a simple assault, a maximum sentence of jail time for six months, or both.
If the victim of the crime is a person listed in the Penal Code (peace officers, police officers, firefighters, emergency response technicians, school employees, and other first defenders) or if the crime happened in a specific location like a school or public park, penalties can increase to $2,000 or one year of jail time.
Penalties for Battery
The Penal Code sets a maximum fine of $2,000 for a simple assault, a maximum sentence of jail time for six months, or both.
If the victim of the crime is a person listed in the Penal Code (peace officers, police officers, firefighters, emergency response technicians, school employees, and other first defenders) or if the act was an act of domestic violence, penalties can increase to one year of jail time.
For battery resulting in serious bodily injury, a defendant can be charged felony sentencing in accordance with Section 1170 of the Penal Code. This can result in jail time of two, three, four, or even longer terms.
Prior felony convictions can also increase penalties.
Aggravated assault is when the assault is more serious. Examples include:
- threatening or attempting to strike a person with a weapon or other dangerous object
- threatening or attempting to shoot a person with a gun or threatening to kill the victim while pointing a gun at the victim
- assault with the intent to commit another felony crime (for example, robbery or rape)
- assault that results in serious physical injury
- threatening violence while concealing one’s identity, and
- assault against a member of a protected class(peace officers, police officers, firefighters, emergency response technicians, school employees, and other first defenders)
Being charged with assault is a very serious accusation to face. You will want to work with a criminal defense lawyer to defend yourself. Here are some possible defenses your criminal defense lawyer may employ:
Self Defense. Your criminal defense attorney will need to show the following:
- there was a threat of unlawful force against you
- there was an honest, real perceived fear of harm against you
- you did not provoke or harm the other person
- there was no chance of being able to retreat from or escape the situation.
Defense of Others. Your criminal defense attorney will need to show that you had an honest and real perceived fear that harm was going to be done to another person. In using this defense, the accused will need to be able to show reasonable grounds for the fear they perceived at the time of the incident.
Defense of Property. Your criminal defense attorney will need to show that the accused acted in defense of his or her property from being invaded. This defense will vary from state to state in terms of the extent it can be used. For example, in one state an individual is allowed to exercise reasonable force to defend his or her property, especially where a home is involved. This law is more divided when it comes to personal property. Still, if personal property has been stolen directly from an individual – for example, a purse – they may have the legal right to use reasonable force to recover that property.
In jurisdictions where this is available, a defense attorney will need to show that an individual consented to the act. But if the act exceeded the permission provided, charges for assault and battery can still be valid. This defense is often scrutinized heavily in court as most harmful actions, even when consented to, are in violation of public policy and should still be punished under law.
Working with a Criminal Defense Attorney
As you can see, assault and battery charges can be complex. An experience criminal defense attorney will be able to analyze all the factors of an incident and be able to advise you on the best defense.
Any assault or battery charge is a serious accusation that could result in prison time, other serious penalties, and a criminal record that will follow you for the rest of your life. The good news is that there is a defense to every charge. Contact our office in Los Angeles at 562-287-5333, at 562-287-5333 or by e-mail to discuss your case with a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney.