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Felony charge against Patriots defender Michael Bennett has been dismissed

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The trade acquisition had been charged for an incident occurring at Super Bowl 51.

NFL: NFC Divisional Playoff-Philadelphia Eagles at New Orleans Saints Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

In March 2018, Michael Bennett was indicted on a felony charge of injury to the elderly: the defensive lineman, who at the time of the incident in question was under contract with the Seattle Seahawks, was accused of injuring a 66-year-old guard that was controlling access to the field at Super Bowl 51 — a game that saw Bennett’s brother Martellus win his first-ever championship as a member of the New England Patriots.

Today, the felony charge against Bennett was dismissed on the grounds of insufficient evidence.

“After looking at all the evidence and applying the law, a crime could not be proven beyond a reasonable doubt,” said Vivian King, chief of staff for district attorney Kim Ogg, via a statement shared by the Houston Chronicle. “There was probable cause to warrant a charge initially, but after a careful review of all the pre-charge and post-charge evidence, we cannot prove this case beyond a reasonable doubt.”

“Michael and I have always insisted that he was not guilty, and today’s dismissal simply confirms that. Whatever happened to the lady on whose behalf the charges were brought [...] it wasn’t done by Michael,” Bennett’s attorney Rusty Hardin told NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero. “I always believed that ultimately, when it was reviewed thoroughly, people would conclude that it was a colossal mistake.”

The 33-year-old had pleaded “not guilty” to the felony charge and today’s dismissal now clears him of all wrongdoings. When originally indicted last year, Bennett had already been traded from the Seahawks to the Philadelphia Eagles. Earlier this year, of course, he was moved from Philadelphia to New England — to a team that just yesterday restructured his contract.