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Florida judge frees Antonio Brown from house arrest

Florida judge frees Antonio Brown from house arrest
Former New England Patriots wide receiver Antonio Brown (17) still must submit to a mental health evaluation and has to surrender his passport, firearms and ammunition. File Photo by Rhona Wise/EPA-EFE

Jan. 28 (UPI) -- A Broward County judge freed NFL free-agent wide receiver Antonio Brown from house arrest Tuesday, allowing him to remove his ankle monitor and travel freely as he awaits trial on battery and burglary charges.

The judge lessened the terms of Brown's bond release, permitting the wideout to travel throughout the United States to fulfill contractual obligations, according to NBC Miami. Instead of requiring Brown to wear an ankle GPS monitor, he will have to phone in with pre-trial services daily.

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Brown still must submit to a mental health evaluation and random drug testing, and he isn't permitted to possess firearms and ammunition. His $110,000 bail remains in place and he must surrender his passport.

"He needs to be treated like everyone else," Brown's defense attorney, Eric Schwartzreich, told Local 10 News in Florida after the hearing. "He shouldn't be given special treatment or treated differently because he's Antonio Brown. The co-defendant in this case, he was put on just a $20,000 bond, so the judge understands that.

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"So, for proportionality, because everyone gets treated the same, the monitor is going to be removed."

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In an Instagram Live video, Brown showed viewers his ankle monitor and said, "I'm about to get this taken off. I'm free to go."

"I put myself in a bad predicament," Brown told USA Today Sports on Tuesday. "I'm out of it now, man. Unfortunate situation, but we don't make excuses and we're going to make the best of it."

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Police charged Brown last week with burglary with battery, burglary of an unoccupied conveyance and criminal mischief of less than $1,000 in damage.

The charges stemmed from a Jan. 21 incident at Brown's Hollywood, Fla., home, when a man told police he was attacked by Brown and his trainer, Glenn Holt, who was arrested last week and released on bond.

Entering this season, Brown was one of the most productive receivers in the NFL. He played in only one game in 2019, however, due to multiple off-the-field issues.

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Brown spent nine seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers before being traded to the Oakland Raiders in the 2019 off-season. He was released before playing a regular-season game after numerous disputes with the organization's front office.

Brown then signed with the New England Patriots, who ultimately released him in September after a second woman in a span of 10 days accused him of sexual misconduct. Brown has denied the accusations and hasn't been charged.

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