Former Miami Dolphins offensive lineman Jonathan Martin was ordered to stand trial on three felony counts by a Los Angeles Superior Court Judge on Wednesday, stemming from an incident last February in which he allegedly threatened former NFL teammate Richie Incognito and two former high school classmates.
Martin’s social media post from February 22 was ruled to possess enough evidence for the 29-year-old Martin to answer to the charges, judge Shellie Samuels said at a preliminary hearing, according to the New York Daily News.
The Instagram post displayed Martin with a 12-gauge shotgun resting on a motel bed with 19 shells scattered around the weapon. The social media handles for Incognito, fellow former Dolphins teammate Mike Pouncey, and two former classmates at Harvard-Westlake School in Los Angeles were tagged into the post, which featured #MiamiDolphins on the gun handle and #HarvardWestlake on the barrel.
It also had this message: ‘When you’re a bully victim & a coward, your options are suicide, or revenge.’
Earlier, Los Angeles Police Department detective Peter Doomanis testified that Martin’s web surfing on February 9 showed he pulled up a story about Incognito just hours before ordering the shotgun from American Gun Works.
Jonathan Martin (right) was ordered to stand trial on three felony counts by a Los Angeles Superior Court Judge on Wednesday, stemming from an incident last February in which he allegedly threatened former NFL teammate Richie Incognito(left) and two former classmates. Martin’s web surfing on February 9 allegedly showed he pulled up a story about Richie Incognito just hours before ordering the shotgun from American Gun Works
Martin’s social media post from February 22 was ruled to possess enough evidence for the 29-year-old Martin to answer to the charges, according to judge Shellie Samuels
Martin left the Dolphins in the middle of the 2013 season and accused Incognito of bullying him. An NFL investigation later found that Incognito was one of three players who bullied Martin and Incognito was suspended for eight games.
The NFL’s report revealed text messages between Martin and Incognito in which the latter repeatedly made racial references to the former. Incognito also joked about shooting African Americans and made sexually explicit and threatening references to Martin’s sister.
‘I’m not a racist,’ Incognito told Fox Sports in 2013. ‘And to judge me by that one word is wrong. In no way shape or form is it ever acceptable for me to use that word even if it’s friend to friend on a voicemail. I regret that.’
Martin has experienced his own issues and his lawyer, Winston McKesson, said those troubles were the reasons for the social media post. He said Martin checked himself into a facility shortly after posting the image.
Martin’s former Dolphins teammate Mike Pouncey was also referenced in the infamous social media post. Pouncey was one of several players who the NFL concluded had bullied Martin during his time in Miami
‘He was struggling with his own demons. That’s what this is,’ McKesson said in court, claiming the post wasn’t specific enough to be a criminal threat.
Judge Samuels disagreed with the argument.
‘It does say suicide or revenge. That does sound equivocal on its face,’ Samuels said. ‘However, on the photo, there are 19 shells. Suicide would take one shot. Nineteen shells is a mass shooting, killing more than one person, revenge.
‘I think that’s unequivocal enough to be a criminal threat.’
Martin remains free on $210,000 bail and his next court date is January 30, according to the Daily News.
Court testimony also disclosed that Incognito was in such great fear when he learned of the post on February 22 that he drove two hours north from Scottsdale, Arizona to meet with an FBI agent.
‘He described being in a state of panic. He was in fear,’ Doomanis said.
Meanwhile, Harvard-Westlake closed the school on February 23 as a precaution after being informed of Martin’s post.
After the bullying incident, Martin, a California native who played at Stanford, signed with the San Francisco 49ers. Outside of a brief stint in Carolina, Martin has been out of the NFL since the 2014 season.
Harvard-Westlake, Martin’s former high school, closed on February 23 as a precaution after being informed of his Instagram post in which he referenced former classmates
In April, Incognito retired as a member of the Buffalo Bills, claiming he was suffering from kidney and liver issues connected to stress.
Later he reportedly claimed he changed his mind, but refused to play for the Bills, and the team has since released him from the reserve/retired list, making him an unrestricted free agent.
After the bullying incident, Martin, a California native who played at Stanford, signed with the San Francisco 49ers. Outside of a brief stint in Carolina, Martin has been out of the NFL since the 2014 season
However, Incognito has not been signed and has not played since 2017.
In August, Incognito was arrested in Arizona over allegations he threatened mortuary employees by demanding they cut off his dead father’s head – or he would shoot them. Officially he faces misdemeanor charges of making threats and disorderly conduct
Incognito allegedly created a disturbance by ‘acting erratically and making the employees feel incredibly uncomfortable’ by inquiring if staff could ‘cut his dad’s head off for research purposes,’ a witness told police in a report obtained by TMZ.
The former Buffalo Bills lineman also allegedly made a gun gesture toward an employee at Messinger Pinnacle Peak Mortuary in Scottsdale, Arizona, and said he had guns in his Ford Raptor.
Three rifles, two handguns and a silencer were later found in the back of his truck by police.
In May Incognito was reportedly involved in an altercation at a gum in Florida and later spent several days in involuntary psychiatric care.
Incognito reportedly received mental health treatment in 2014 after allegedly smashing his car with a bat.