The Washington Post

Chad Johnson says ‘I’m gone,’ heads to jail for slapping lawyer’s butt (video)

Chad Johnson after his arrest last August. (Jeff Daly / Invision AP) Chad Johnson after his arrest last August. (Jeff Daly / Invision AP)

Chad Johnson headed off Monday to begin serving a 30-day sentence in jail for, well, for failing to take a court proceeding seriously.

As a plea deal was being worked out in connection with his violation of probation, Johnson, the former Chad Ochocinco, drew the ire of Broward County Circuit Judge Kathleen McHugh by playfully slapping his lawyer on the backside in response to her question about whether he had been satisfied with his legal representation.

Johnson bade his over 4 million Twitter followers adieu for a while Monday evening:


Johnson’s lawyer was close to completing a deal that would have kept Johnson out of jail after he violated terms of his probation stemming from a domestic incident in which he head-butted his then-wife, Evelyn Lozada, last summer. And then Johnson got cute in the courtroom.

“I don’t know that you’re taking this whole thing seriously. I just saw you slap your attorney on the backside. Is there something funny about this?” McHugh said (via the Miami Herald) as she slapped the plea document on her desk. “The whole courtroom was laughing. I’m not going to accept these plea negotiations. This isn’t a joke.”

Nor is it a locker room. Johnson, who has not played in the NFL since being released by the Miami Dolphins in training camp last year, apologized. ”This is your courtroom. I have no intent to make this a joke. It’s not funny,” he said. “My life is in a shambles right now and I try my best to laugh and keep a smile on my face.”

McHugh wasn’t buying it. ”It’s not the first time he’s behaved that way in my courtroom,” she said.

And with that, Johnson was sentenced to 30 days in the slammer.

Follow @CindyBoren on Twitter and on Facebook.

After spending most of her career in traditional print sports journalism, Cindy began blogging and tweeting, first as NFL/Redskins editor, and, since August 2010, at The Early Lead. She also is the social media editor for Sports.



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Cindy Boren · June 11, 2013