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Trials & Litigation

After ex-NFL star pats his lawyer’s backside, judge nixes his no-jail plea deal

Posted Jun 10, 2013 11:55 AM CDT
By Martha Neil

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Chad Johnson. s_bukley / Shutterstock.com

Playfully swatting a teammate on the backside is a common move on the football field.

But when former NFL wide receiver Chad Johnson patted his lawyer, Adam Swickle, on the posterior Monday, in response to a question from the judge about whether he was satisfied with his attorney, the gesture did not go over well. Despite the 35-year-old's apology, Broward County Circuit Judge Kathleen McHugh nixed the no-jail plea deal that she had been on the verge of approving and gave him 30 days in jail for violating his probation in a domestic violence case, according to the Associated Press and the Sun-Sentinel.

"Is there something funny about this?" asked the judge as she slapped the plea-deal document down on the bench. "The whole courtroom was laughing. I'm not going to accept these plea negotiations. This isn't a joke."

ESPN and TMZ also have stories.

Johnson, who at one point legally changed his name to Chad Ochocinco (the altered last name, in Spanish, honored his uniform number, 85) played for the Cincinnati Bengals and the New England Patriots before moving to the Miami Dolphins. After being arrested in this case, he was fired from the Dolphins before playing a game. Last year, he changed his name back to Johnson.

Updated at 3:20 p.m. to clarify Johnson's career details.

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