As we noted in a previous blog post, Johnson was originally sentenced to 30 days in the Brown County jail after he patted his attorney on the backside to show his approval during a court appearance for failing to meet with his parole agent. It appeared Johnson was originally going to avoid jail time, but the courtroom erupted with laughter after he patted his lawyer on the rear. Judge Kathleen McHugh said she didn’t believe Johnson was taking his court appearance very seriously, and she rejected a sentence that avoided jail time for the flamboyant wide receiver. McHugh sentenced Johnson to 30 days in jail, but she reduced his stay to seven days after Johnson issued a personal apology.
“I just wanted to apologize for disrespecting the court last time,” Johnson said when he appeared before the judge on Monday. “I apologize. I did have time to reflect on the mistakes I made in this courtroom.”
After Johnson apologized, McHugh reduced his sentence to seven days, which meant he had served his full sentence. However, Judge McHugh did not rescind any other parts of her original ruling, which added three months to Johnson’s probation, 25 hours of community service, and mandatory domestic violence counseling sessions.
In an interview with Fox Sports, Johnson said his time behind bars gave him time to reflect on his life choices.
“I think that Judge McHugh was able to get me do something many people have tried to get me to do for a long time: slow down, just at life in general,” Johnson said. “She was able to get me to do that, maybe not in the best circumstances for those on the outside but I see being able to sit down and think about life and where I’m going from this point was probably on one of the best things that could happen to me right now.”
Although it appears that time in lockup provided Johnson with a chance to clear his head, he maintains that he wasn’t trying to disrespect the court when he patted his attorney on the backside. Johnson said he was just showing his approval “the way I’ve always interacted throughout life, just in general.”
Johnson added that he will follow the conditions set forth by Judge McHugh, and he is grateful to have the chance to continue his NFL career.
“I don’t want the last thing to be remembered you know, well, Chad was cut from the Dolphins for an incident he had with his wife,” said Johnson. “I would love to grace the football field one more time and to help some team. I’m not injured. There’s nothing wrong with me.”
Related source: ESPN, AP, USA Today