Rusty Hardin, the attorney for defensive end Michael Bennett of the Philadelphia Eagles, told ESPN on Friday that his client would plead not guilty if a felony case on a charge of injury to the elderly goes to trial.
Bennett posted a $10,000 bond on Monday after a grand jury indicted him over an incident that occurred at NRG Stadium in Houston following Super Bowl LI on Feb. 5, 2017.
"The only two possible outcomes for this case is the DA's office [saying] they don't have a case and dismissing, or a trial -- one or the other," Hardin told ESPN. "If and whenever they ask for a plea, it will be not guilty."
Bennett's next court appearance in Harris County, Texas, is set for April 23, but Hardin does not expect a plea request on that date.
According to Hardin, the court placed no travel restrictions on Bennett at the bond hearing, meaning he is free to travel as long as he makes his court appearances.
If any court appearances conflict with the Eagles' schedule, Hardin said he would request different court dates to avoid any absences.
A grand jury indicted Bennett on the felony charge of injury to the elderly on March 23.
Bennett was a spectator at the Super Bowl in Houston to watch his brother, tight end Martellus Bennett, play for the New England Patriots. After the game, Michael Bennett allegedly shoved his way onto the field, according to the district attorney's office.
NRG security personnel, including a 66-year-old paraplegic woman, told Bennett he had to use a different entrance for field access, but the defensive end allegedly pushed through them, including the woman.
The woman sustained a sprained shoulder, according to Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo.
"You all must know who I am, and I can own this m-----f-----," Acevedo said Bennett told security personnel. "I'm going down to the field, whether you like it or not."
Said Hardin: "I just don't think he did it. He certainly didn't do anything intentionally, or negligibly or recklessly push or hurt her. Now, did something else happen to her from somebody else? I just don't know.
"I think the bigger issue is there were a bunch of people going through that door, anywhere from 20 to 35 people rushing to go down on the field to see their loved ones and celebrate with them. He and his family were with a group of other Patriot family members, and when the game was over, these different families all went to the floor.
" ... I just know that this guy would never intentionally or knowingly push her or do anything to somebody in a wheelchair. That just didn't happen."
The charge carries a penalty of up to 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.