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Reasonable doubt could keep Peterson from being prosecuted

roger-clemens-rusty-hardin Getty Images

Vikings running back Adrian Peterson may not have to rely on the Chewbacca defense to avoid charges of resisting arrest in Houston.

Apart from the fact that we still don’t know what he was being arrested for when he was resisting arrest in the first place, the key words for the potential Peterson prosecution are “reasonable” and “doubt.”

As attorney Rusty Hardin said on Wednesday’s edition of The Dan Patrick Show, there turned out to be no surveillance video of the incident that resulted in Peterson being placed in handcuffs, allegedly after being punched in the face and roughed up by police.  Coupled with, as Hardin claims, six eyewitnesses who contend Peterson did nothing wrong, it will be very difficult for prosecutors to believe they’ll get a conviction via the high standard of proof beyond a reasonable doubt.

And so Hardin will try to persuade prosecutors to move on.  It may not be that easy, if the prosecutors are looking for a way to help the cops save face, via a slap-on-the-wrist reduced charge or some other acknowledgement by Peterson of at least partial responsibility for the situation.

Still, if Hardin plans to take the case to trial — and if Peterson is willing to pay him the money it would cost to do so — prosecutors would see money and time diverted from fighting real crimes to making an example out of a guy who apparently failed to leave a nightclub at closing time quickly enough, and who may have gotten a little mouthy, and at worst a little shove-y, in the process.

Our guess?  This one is going way, especially since Peterson is so widely regarded as anything but a problem child.

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23 Responses to “Reasonable doubt could keep Peterson from being prosecuted”
  1. dougydougdoug says: Jul 11, 2012 6:37 PM

    I have a reasonable doubt that his knee will ever be strong enough for him to play at a high level before he’s done. But I don’t know why he would be prosecuted for such physical malady.

  2. cornersss says: Jul 11, 2012 6:43 PM

    I like AP, but not one of us could get away with resisting arrest just because a camera wasnt there and our friends said we did nothing wrong.

    Why can NFL players get away with it? So AP’s friends are more credible then cops?

    BUT i agree, what a waste of money and time,nothing new for the little people

  3. dan39564 says: Jul 11, 2012 7:05 PM

    He may be able to beat a Jury, and the DA, But if Goodell decides you are guilty, it is a suspension, just ask Vilma.

  4. bleedgreen says: Jul 11, 2012 7:12 PM

    I don’t think AP’s friends are any more or less credible than cops. They don’t call it the ‘Blue Wall’ for nothing. Cops will stop at nothing to defend their own, even in the face of overwhelming evidence.

  5. brownicus says: Jul 11, 2012 7:19 PM

    No one has said the 6 other people were his friends yet. It was supposedly crowded, other than the bartender, I haven’t heard of any witnesses that have said AP did do something wrong yet.

    I still doubt any charges will be filed, but AP was in fact innocent I do expect him to file a lawsuit. His name and image are very important to him and he will fight to protect that. But to be fair, if did do something wrong, he could still try to fight it to make it look like he was innocent too.

    Even as a Viking fan, I’m just going to wait for more information before making any conclusions.

  6. mjkelly77 says: Jul 11, 2012 7:48 PM

    there turned out to be no surveillance video of the incident that resulted in Peterson being placed in handcuffs …
    ___________________

    That’s what Peterson and the defense attorney were hoping for. Now they’re macho posturing will really start.

  7. jimmylions says: Jul 11, 2012 8:35 PM

    It has been several days, and the Houston PD have yet to state how AP was somehow resisting arrest, but wasn’t being arrested for anything. If they had anything legit to say, they would have said it by now.

    As MF stated, it looks like they are trying to find a face saving way out of this, and AP has no intention of letting them have it.

    Sometime soon (the sooner the better for them) the Houston PD are going to have to own up to some wrong doing, and figure out a way to make it right. Peterson’s black eye is healing, but the black eye on the Houston PD just gets bigger and worse the longer this drags out.

  8. allnightdwight says: Jul 11, 2012 8:45 PM

    I’m guessing that the “resisting arrest” statute covers any conduct opposing or obstructing an officer engaged in any legal duty, not just effecting an arrest. You can catch this charge simply by not leaving quickly enough to suit the cops.

  9. jake6881 says: Jul 11, 2012 8:45 PM

    Its funny how all the sudden the video from the night club has disappeared…lol. I am guessing that the cops made sure it wouldn’t be released some how to cover the off duty cops but. This cracks me up. I want to hear from the eye witnesses on the record, wait, that will never happen! The police will make sure of that! Then this whole thing will disappear in the next few weeks like it never happened. Then I have to read this article about “reasonable doubt”, PLEASE! If he resisted arrest, then what the hell was he being arrested for??? HUH? He was being harrassed by the off duty officer/bouncer and the bouncer went over board and thought he was on duty, and wasn’t!!! Now, what happens to the cop/bouncer? If there was no charge, then why isn’t he under investigation? What a joke!!! Cops abuse power all the time! I feel sorry for real cops that actually take there job seriouslly and want to make a diference. Innocent until proven guilty! Reasonable doubt my ass! Prove he was doing wrong!!!! Let’s hear from the eye witnesses!!!!!!!!!

  10. onbucky96 says: Jul 11, 2012 8:51 PM

    Rusty Hardin, where where you after the SS Loveboat?

  11. edwinmoses says: Jul 11, 2012 10:42 PM

    jake6881 – first off, it’s “their job seriously.” Second, I do agree with your overall sentiment but why would the club or DA release such a video to begin with? Whether it proved or disproved their case it was never going to happen. You live in the internet world.

  12. urcrap says: Jul 11, 2012 11:09 PM

    Just another crap hole in good ol US of Aholes! Houston’s finest will give you drunk in public INSIDE a bar just to help the locales get free labor out at the bean farm! This time they sized up AP figuring he’d pick ALL DAY long!

  13. footballisfun says: Jul 11, 2012 11:31 PM

    bleedgreen says: Jul 11, 2012 7:12 PM

    I don’t think AP’s friends are any more or less credible than cops. They don’t call it the ‘Blue Wall’ for nothing. Cops will stop at nothing to defend their own, even in the face of overwhelming evidence.
    __________________

    Indeed. My wife was hit at an intersection by an off duty cop who ran a red light. Totaled her car.

    The cop on the scene wrote it up as “no one at fault”.

  14. vincentbojackson says: Jul 11, 2012 11:33 PM

    Just drop the charges. The way the Vikings are looking, making AP play the entire season will probably be punishment enough.

  15. zn0rseman says: Jul 11, 2012 11:59 PM

    I don’t think the Houston PD, or the DA realize who they are dealing with.

    A.D. All. Day.

    The guy is relentless, punishing and unforgiving man who has been adamant throughout his life, that reputation is everything.

    If the Houston PD and DA think they are going to get away with anything less than a full public apology they are not paying attention.

    They’ll be lucky if Peterson let’s them walk away that easy. They may very well end getting crushed like Al Harris.

  16. bigbadal21 says: Jul 12, 2012 12:22 AM

    There was no way that bar would release the video. Of course it showed Peterson did nothing wrong and the off duty police officer who works for the bar caused the whole problem. Now if Peterson had done something wrong that video would have been used instead of erased.

  17. zn0rseman says: Jul 12, 2012 12:22 AM

    Wait, does anybody else find it more than a little suspicious that the owner sided with the cops and told TMZ that “the whole thing was on video” and now is claiming that the high tech video system at his establishment wasn’t turned on?

    Seriously?

    I’m calling BS on that one. I’m willing to bet the farm that the video incriminated his cop buddies and proved they were lying, so it was conveniently “lost”.

  18. denverscott says: Jul 12, 2012 12:37 AM

    Come to Sacramento people. The majority in county jail have one charge, resisting arrest. Most can’t afford a high priced atty so they get a fine and a easy payment plan through the office of revenue recovery. He will walk, and should walk. This is simply e revenue generation technique, a back door tax if you will. 10% of the police force fights crime, the rest raise money. If you get sentenced to community service in Sac you go to the Sheriffs Work Project. They send you somewhere like Regional Transit to clean park and ride lots. You pay the SWP $75 a day and SWP bills RT for the supplied labor. None of this money is figured into their “cash strapped” budgets. Do the math, it’s win win for the cops.

  19. hummer53 says: Jul 12, 2012 12:45 AM

    Sigh. Just drop the dang charge Houston PD. Then everyone can move on.

  20. hoosier77 says: Jul 12, 2012 1:31 AM

    Free Peterson!!!

  21. mwindle1973 says: Jul 12, 2012 5:17 AM

    Waste of public resources. They should’ve held and released him without charging him, even if he did what they said. They know he has the money to fight it. And if they have to take it trial it’s a waste of public funds. So whether it’s his story or theirs or somewhere in between, they should’ve had the common sense to control the situation then just let it go without charges.

  22. th56 says: Jul 12, 2012 1:35 PM

    How convenient that the Surveillance video now doesn’t exist. These cops need to be prosecuted and fired.

  23. Grulks says: Jul 12, 2012 1:38 PM

    What really bothers me here is the

    “if the prosecutors are looking for a way to help the cops save face, via a slap-on-the-wrist reduced charge or some other acknowledgement by Peterson of at least partial responsibility for the situation.”

    Bullsh**. That is NOT how the justice system is supposed to work. Cops aren’t supposed to arrest someone PERIOD if they haven’t done anything wrong. The fact that the prosecutors MIGHT be looking to help the cops safe face speaks volumes to what happened here: an offduty cop got upset bc they were on a power trip, attempted to arrest AD, two other off duty cops saw their buddy struggling and without trying to figure out what was going on, jumped in to help their fellow officer out. THEN they tried to figure out what to charge him with, and now they’ve got egg on their face.

    WTF can’t society operate on the principle of “Hey, I screwed up, I was out of line, this is my apology.” Instead, everyone has to make an excuse because it’s always someone elses fault.

    “Our guess? This one is going way, especially since Peterson is so widely regarded as anything but a problem child.”

    I hope AD files a multimillion dollar civil suit the moment this “goes away”. The HPD and the prosecutors need to figure it out that they aren’t above the law, and until they cease acting that way, they are going to be held accountable.

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