Bulldogs Beat

Taylor enters not guilty plea in Clarke County case

ATHENS - Jonathan Taylor, the former Georgia and Alabama football player, on Tuesday entered a not-guilty plea in Athens to last summer's domestic violence charges.

Taylor is charged with one felony court of aggravated assault and two misdemeanors, simple battery and battery, after an incident with his then-girlfriend at a UGA dorm room last June. His next court date is June 30, a status conference, at Athens-Clarke County court.

The 6-foot-4 defensive lineman appeared in court wearing a long-sleeve, collared shirt. His appearance was brief.

"We're glad to see the process finally starting, so the whole picture and the whole story can finally come out, eventually," Kim Stephens, who is Taylor's lawyer, said after Taylor's court appearance. "Whether it be some sort of resolution that's worked out with the D.A.'s office, or whether we go to trial, we're anxious to see that all sides of the story come to light."

Taylor is also still facing a charge of domestic violence in Tuscaloosa, Ala., after he was arrested there 10 days ago. But the woman in that case, a different woman from the Athens case, recanted her accusations two days later. The Tuscaloosa police have yet to say whether the case against Taylor will proceed.

There is another case pending against Taylor: The charge of theft by deception for double-cashing scholarship checks from UGA. Taylor and three of his then-Georgia teammates entered pre-trial intervention after the charges, but Taylor's PTI was canceled because of the subsequent summer arrest.

Taylor was dismissed by Georgia after that arrest. He then spent the fall at a junior college and was signed by Alabama, which then dismissed him after the second domestic violence arrest.

"One of the things we would like to do is resolve this case and that one at the same time, if we're able to negotiate a settlement of some sort," Stephens said. "That's why that case has kind of dragged while this is going on."

Taylor wants to continue his college football career, Stephens said, and still has aspirations for a pro career.

"Whether that will happen or not is a different question, and I'm sure will depend on several things, including the outcome of this case as well as his talent level," Stephens said.

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