Saskatchewan Roughriders’ Justin Cox (31) makes an interception on Edmonton Eskimos’ Derel Walker (87) during first half action in Edmonton, Alta., on Friday July 8, 2016. A former CFL Saskatchewan Roughrider player is looking to deal with a domestic violence charge quickly. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson.

Former Roughrider found not guilty of assault

REGINA — A player who was cut from the Saskatchewan Roughriders football team over an alleged incident of domestic violence has been found not guilty of assault causing bodily harm.

And Justin Cox, 24, says he hopes he can resume his career now.

“Hopefully I get it back. I really want to play with the Roughriders,” Cox said Monday after the decision by provincial court Judge Pat Reis.

“Hopefully I can get to wear that green and white again and you know, play football again, period.”

The defensive back was released by the CFL team on April 19, one day after Regina police charged him as the result of investigation into an allegation of intimate partner violence.

But Reis said there’s no evidence to support the charge after hearing from five Crown witnesses.

“I just don’t see the evidence is there,” Reis said when senior Crown prosecutor Kim Jones attempted to make closing comments in the case.

Jones acknowledged that outside court.

“There has to be proof beyond a reasonable doubt that an assault causing bodily harm took place and the Crown’s case didn’t meet that standard,” he said.

The defence decided not to present any evidence or call any witnesses.

Court heard that police were called April 18 about a 23-year-old woman with injuries consistent with a physical attack.

A police officer and an acquaintance of the woman told the court that they saw a bump on her head and bruising after a fight at Regina home. They also said it appeared a braid of hair had been torn from her head.

Riders’ wide receiver, Joe Craig, who was living in the house with Cox, told court that the couple was arguing over the code for an iPhone.

Craig said he was standing between Cox and the woman, and he never saw him hit her.

“No, sir, not all,” Craig testified.

Craig also said Cox did not push her down a flight of stairs, but that she fell.

“When I turned around, she was on the ground,” he said.

The woman told the court that the braid was a loose hair extension that came out when she fell down the stairs.

In her own testimony, she described a rocky relationship.

Court heard police were called to another apartment of the couple because of noise complaints.

The woman said she was unhappy with the attention that she believed Cox was giving to other women and that would lead to arguments where she would scream at him.

“I would get very jealous,” she told the court.

She said Cox would “try to get away from the situation” and that she would physically block the door, jump on him to keep him from leaving and throw things at him. She said he never intentionally hit her.

On April 18, she said they had their “usual argument” and Cox said he was leaving her.

“It made me very angry, much angrier than I’ve been in a very long time,” she said.

Defence lawyer Sharon Fox asked if the woman threatened to ruin Cox’s career and the woman said: “That’s correct.”

The Riders released Cox when the assault charge became public and the CFL also said he would no longer be allowed to play with any team in the league.

The former Mississippi State player had signed a two-year extension with the Roughriders in December after he recorded 42 defensive tackles and four interceptions in 15 games in 2016, en route to being named the team’s most outstanding rookie.

Cox was released by the NFL’s Kansas City Chiefs in 2015 after being arrested and charged with domestic violence twice in less than a year.

Just Posted

Women’s marches underway in Canadian cities, a year after Trump inauguration

Women are gathering in dozens of communities across the country today to… Continue reading

Red Deer councillor balks at city getting stuck with more funding responsibilities

Volunteer Central seeks municipal funding after being cut off by government

Olds chicken barn burns to the ground, no livestock harmed

More than 100,000 chickens were saved as fire crews prevent the blaze from spreading

Bear video meant to promote conservation: zoo owner

Discovery Wildlife Park says it will look at other ways to promote its conservation message

WATCH: Setters Place grand opening in Red Deer

Red Deer’s Setters Place officially opened to the public Saturday afternoon.… Continue reading

In photos: Get ready for Western Canadian Championships

Haywood NorAm Western Canadian Championships and Peavey Mart Alberta Cup 5/6 start… Continue reading

WATCH: Red Deer city council debates cost-savings versus quality of life

Majority of councillors decide certain services are worth preserving

Got milk? Highway reopened near Millet

A southbound truck hauling milk and cartons collided with a bridge

Stettler’s newest residents overcame fear, bloodshed to come here

Daniel Kwizera, Diane Mukasine and kids now permanent residents

Giddy up: Red Deer to host Canadian Finals Rodeo in 2018

The CFR is expected to bring $20-30 million annually to Red Deer and region

Ice dancers Virtue and Moir to carry flag at Pyeongchang Olympics

Not since Kurt Browning at the 1994 Lillehammer Games has a figure… Continue reading

Beer Canada calls on feds to axe increasing beer tax as consumption trends down

OTTAWA — A trade association for Canada’s beer industry wants the federal… Continue reading

Most Read

Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month