CINCINNATI (AP) — Cincinnati Bengals running back Joe Mixon was found not guilty Thursday of aggravated menacing in a January traffic dispute.
Hamilton County Municipal Court Judge Gwen Bender acquitted Mixon of the misdemeanor charge after a four-day bench trial.
A woman had accused the 27-year-old of pointing a gun at her as their cars were stopped next to each other at a traffic light. Mixon’s attorneys argued it couldn’t be proven that he ever had a gun in the car.
The woman involved, whose name wasn’t disclosed in court, said she and Mixon yelled at each other angrily after he cut her off in traffic. Mixon contended the woman started the confrontation by flipping him off.
She said Mixon then pointed the gun at her as their cars were stopped.
“This is a classic case of ‘he said, she said,’” defense attorney Scott Croswell said.
If Mixon had been convicted, he could have faced up to a year in jail and a $1,000 fine.
“Joe has been a top level running back with multiple 1,000-yard rushing seasons, and he has been an even better teammate enjoying real popularity among his peers,” the Bengals said in a statement later Thursday.
“During the past seven years, Joe has been active with the community, and his constant smile and energy have made him a favorite among thousands of fans. The organization is pleased that this matter is now behind everyone, and we look forward to an exciting season with Joe being an important part of the football team,” the statement said.
A second-round draft pick by the Bengals in 2017, Mixon’s best year was the Super Bowl season of 2021 when he rushed for 1,205 yards and 13 touchdowns.
Before this season, Mixon agreed to restructure his contract to take a pay cut so he could stay with the Bengals.
Mixon may be facing another legal issue. In March, Mixon’s sister and her boyfriend were indicted after shots were fired from Mixon’s property at some neighborhood teenagers. Mixon was named in a lawsuit filed by the parents of a 16-year-old who was shot in the foot. The civil action accuses Mixon of being negligent.
While in college at Oklahoma, Mixon was suspended for the 2014 season after punching a woman at a restaurant. He apologized publicly and reached an out-of-court settlement with the victim.