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NFL and Mecklenburg DA cancel hearing over Greg Hardy trial evidence

The NFL and Mecklenburg County prosecutors apparently are near an agreement on turning over evidence from former Carolina Panther Greg Hardy’s assault trial to the league
The NFL and Mecklenburg County prosecutors apparently are near an agreement on turning over evidence from former Carolina Panther Greg Hardy’s assault trial to the league

The NFL and the Mecklenburg County District Attorney’s Office have postponed a public court fight over evidence from Greg Hardy’s assault case in hopes of reaching a settlement.

The league wants to see the exhibits and testimony presented at the July trial of the former Carolina Panther to decide his NFL punishment. Last week, the NFL sued to get them, saying Murray’s office had refused league requests for the evidence.

A court hearing on the league’s complaint was scheduled for Tuesday. It has now been postponed at the request of both sides.

A spokeswoman for Murray’s office said the delay will “allow additional time for the parties involved to discuss a possible resolution.”

Charlotte attorney Monroe Whitesides, who is representing the NFL, offered a similar opinion – saying the league and Murray’s office “are exploring resolutions that will be mutually beneficial.” He declined further comment. So did the NFL.

Hardy, 26, was convicted by a judge in July of assaulting and threatening former girlfriend Nicole Holder. Hardy appealed, and Murray dropped the charges in February when Holder failed to appear for Hardy’s jury trial.

Hardy, who signed a one-year $11.3 million contract this month with the Dallas Cowboys, remains on the NFL’s exempt list due to his earlier arrest and conviction. He played in only one game for the Panthers during the 2014 season but was paid more than $13 million.

The league says it needs the trial evidence as part of its ongoing investigation into a suitable punishment for the player. The former Pro Bowl defensive end is likely to be forced to sit out several games next season.

His signing with the Cowboys has been met by outrage in Dallas and around the country.

The NFL, which was damaged last year by a rash of domestic-assault cases involving Hardy and other big-name players, says the evidence from Hardy’s trial is public record and should be made available since all legal actions against the player have ended.

Roger Goodell, the league’s commissioner, said Wednesday he expects the NFL investigation of the Hardy case to end soon.

“We are trying to get as many facts as we possibly can to make the most informed decision we can,” Goodell said at the end of the NFL owners meetings in Phoenix. Staff member Joseph Person contributed.

Gordon: 704-358-5095

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