Marcus and Markieff Morris found not guilty in assault trial


BOSTON – Marcus and Markieff Morris were both found not guilty on Tuesday in their assault trial that stemmed from an incident in January of 2015. 

A third person charged in the incident, Gerald Bowman who is friends with the Morris twins, was also found not guilty. 

All three, along with two other men who pleaded guilty in a separate trial, were accused of beating 36-year-old Erik Hood after a high school basketball game in Phoenix in January of 2015.

Both Marcus and Markieff, who play for Boston and Washington respectively, are expected to join their respective teams sometime this week. 

Had either player been found guilty of the charges, they could have faced jail time or probation, with both triggering a multi-game suspension. 

The prosecution argued that the Morris twins held a grudge against Hood which was the reason for beating. 

However, Tim Eckstein who delivered the closing argument for the defendants, said the Morris twins were falsely accused because Hood was planning to file a lawsuit against the brothers.

The prosecution acknowledged the pending lawsuit Hood has filed against the Morris twins, but added that it was irrelevant to the current court proceedings. 

Eckstein pointed out that Hood had been attacked, but the perpetrators had already plead guilty to the crime. 

Julius Kane and Christopher Melendez pleaded guilty to two counts each of aggravated assault before the trial, with their sentencing being on Oct. 16.

The judgement brings closure to an assault case that seemed as though it would never come to an end. 

For the Morris brothers, they can now focus their attention on their respective teams who will be counting on each of them to be major contributors this season. 

Marcus, acquired by Boston from Detroit during the offseason, could potentially wind up as a starter for Boston or at the very least, a key contributor off the bench in the frontcourt. With the Pistons last season, he averaged 14.0 points and 4.6 rebounds with 79 starts.

Markieff started 76 games last season for Washington while averaging 14.0 points and a career-high 6.5 rebounds per game while shooting 36.2 percent which was also a career high.

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