By Stephanie Taylor
The Tuscaloosa News
A judge has dismissed the felony robbery charge against NFL defensive back Marlon Humphrey.
After hearing testimony at a hearing Thursday, Tuscaloosa County District Judge Joanne Jannik ruled there was no probable cause to believe Humphrey robbed an Uber driver in January.
The driver, Mitchell Patton, told University of Alabama Police that Humphrey stole a phone charger and threatened him after a ride from the Strip to Hotel Capstone.
A University of Alabama police investigator testified Thursday that officers didn’t press charges, but Patton “was adamant” about wanting to pursue a case. A woman who was a passenger in the Uber testified that Patton appeared to be the aggressor, and that she rerecorded him saying he would “beat Marlon’s [expletive]” and recoup money.
“The Court finds that the evidence presented does not support a finding that Mr. Humphrey knowingly obtained or exerted unauthorized control over the property of Mr. Patton, with intent to deprive him of his property,” Jannik wrote in the order, entered into online records just before 8 p.m. Friday.
“We are happy for Marlon and the entire Humphrey family,” attorney Paul Patterson said Friday night. “The evidence was overwhelming that the Uber driver was the aggressor and escalated a situation that could have been resolved without wasting the time and resources of our local law enforcement. Marlon can now continue on the path of success in the NFL. As I stated in the beginning, Marlon has 11 million reasons why not to steal a three dollar phone charger.”
Humphrey, a former Alabama football player, is a corner back with the NFL’s Baltimore Ravens. The son of former Alabama player and NFL running back Bobby Humphrey signed a four-year contract worth $11,847,480 with the Ravens on May 4, 2017, that included a $6,756,348 signing bonus.
The dispute with the Uber driver occurred during the early morning hours of Jan. 13 after driver Patton dropped off Humphrey, 21, and a woman at the hotel on Bryant Drive.
The UAPD investigator said Patton called police between 10 and 15 times during the hours after the incident, saying he wanted to press charges. He ultimately spoke to a magistrate and had a warrant issued for Humphrey’s arrest on a felony third-degree robbery charge.
“He seemed to become more alarmed as the incident unfolded,” UAPD Investigator Hunter Christian testified during the preliminary hearing Thursday. “He was very anxious to move forward with this.”
The witness, 21, testified that the driver became angry when Humphrey exited the car, saying he had damaged a speaker and wanted him to pay $200 for it.
“Marlon put his arm up in, what I would say, self-defense,” she said. “I honestly thought the Uber driver was going to punch Marlon.”
Humphrey will be refunded the $2,500 bond he paid after his arrest on Jan. 25.