Ex-NFLer Martin to go to trial over social post

11:12 PM ET

  • ESPN News Services

Former Miami Dolphins offensive lineman Jonathan Martin must go to trial on felony charges related to a threatening post on his Instagram account in February 2018.

The image on the post showed a shotgun and ammunition and tagged four accounts, including those belonging to former Dolphins teammates Richie Incognito and Mike Pouncey. It also included hashtags for Harvard-Westlake, where Martin went to high school in the Los Angeles area, and the Dolphins.

The caption read: “When you’re a bully victim & a coward, your options are suicide, or revenge.”

Martin was charged in March with four felony counts of making criminal threats. One of the counts was dismissed Wednesday, a spokesman for the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office told the Los Angeles Times.

Martin’s lawyer argued that the post was not specific enough to constitute a criminal threat, but Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Shellie Samuels disagreed.

“It does say suicide or revenge,” Samuels said, according to the New York Daily News. “That does sound equivocal on its face. However, on the photo, there are 19 shells. Suicide would take one shot. Nineteen shells is a mass shooting, killing more than one person, revenge. I think that’s unequivocal enough [under the law] to be a criminal threat.”

The Daily News reported that detective Peter Doomanis testified at the hearing that Martin’s computer history revealed he did a search on Incognito hours before he ordered a shotgun on Feb. 9.

At the time of the social media post, Martin, 29, was detained for questioning and then released, a spokesman for the Los Angeles Police Department told ESPN. Nine days before the post, a gunman killed 17 people at a high school in Parkland, Florida.

A law enforcement source told KABC-TV in Los Angeles that Martin was then held in a mental health facility.

Martin accused Incognito and Pouncey of bullying him in 2013 when they were teammates in Miami, which resulted in an NFL investigation. The investigation found that Incognito, Pouncey and John Jerry created a hostile working environment for Martin, who left the team in the middle of the season.

Incognito was suspended for eight games by the NFL after the investigation was completed.

Martin hasn’t played in the NFL since 2015. Weeks after retiring, he posted a lengthy message on Facebook explaining that he suffered from depression and had tried to kill himself on multiple occasions.

Harvard-Westlake, an elite private school, closed temporarily in response to the Instagram post, but police told ESPN there was no direct threat to the school.

According to a source, the Dolphins’ security director reached out to the league to make officials aware of the post. Pouncey also was made aware.

ESPN’s Kyle Bonagura, Jenna Laine and Mike Rodak contributed to this report.

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