Jonathan Majors’ sentencing date has been delayed until April 8 after his defense team filed a motion to set aside the verdict.
The Creed III actor was convicted in December of reckless assault in the third degree, a misdemeanor, and harassment in the second degree, which is a violation. The charges carry a potential sentence of up to one year in prison. The sentencing was initially set to take place Tuesday. Majors appeared virtually for the hearing, in which prosecutors said they needed time to respond to the motion, which was filed Monday.
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The charges stem from an incident on March 25 between Majors and his ex-partner Grace Jabbari. Jabbari testified that while the two were riding in a car, she saw a text on his phone suggesting he was cheating on her and grabbed it from him. She said the actor then injured her, including prying her finger from the phone and striking her head as he tried to take the phone away from her and later threw her back into the car.
In the new motion, Majors attorney, Priya Chaudhry, asks the court to set aside the guilty verdicts and enter judgements of acquittal, arguing that the court presented two inconsistent assault counts to the jury, in the fact that counts of both reckless assault and intentional assault were submitted to the jury for consideration. The jury did not find Majors guilty of intentional assault in the third degree.
The motion also argues that the prosecution presented “insufficient” evidence for the reckless assault and harassment convictions, saying that prosecution presented the incident in court as intentional, and as part of a pattern of alleged abuse between Majors and Jabbari, among other issues.
“A careful analysis of the trial record shows that there is quite simply no evidence that Mr. Majors acted recklessly, as opposed to intentionally (or not at all), let alone enough such evidence to support a verdict beyond a reasonable doubt that Mr. Majors committed reckless assault,” the motion reads.
On the harassment charge, the defense argues that prosecution did not prove that Majors put Jabbari back into the car with the specific intent of “harassing annoying of alarming her,” but rather say he was trying to get away from her, as is evidenced by video footage of him running away from the car.
“The Court has already heard and rejected the arguments supporting this motion when the defense originally raised them during the trial. The jury then convicted Mr. Majors of Assault in the 3rd Degree and Harassment in the 2nd Degree. We will respond in detail in court papers,” a spokesperson for the district attorney’s office said in a statement.
Prosecutors have until March 5 to issue a response. Judge Michael Gaffey, who oversaw the trial and the hearing Monday, said he would make a decision on the motion by April 1.
Initially, legal experts said Majors was unlikely to face prison time, given his lack of prior criminal history. However, Majors gave an interview on Good Morning America in January, in which he denied wrongdoing, that legal experts say could impact his sentence.
8:06 AM PT: This story has been updated with the information contained in the motion to set aside the verdict.
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