On Tuesday, a Phoenix jury acquitted NBA players Marcus and Markieff Morris on aggravated assault charges. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
The brothers have been on trial for for allegedly helping three other people beat Erik Hood, 36, in January 2015, outside a high school basketball game in #Phoenix. Hood, who said he’s known the brothers since their #AAU basketball days, testified that his relationship with them fell apart because of a misinterpreted text message he sent their mother, which prosecutors used as a motive in the case. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Both players missed the start of the NBA preseason because of the trial. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
“From the beginning we expected them to acquit but just putting this time here,” Marcus Morris told reporters outside the Maricopa County Superior Court. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Jurors began their deliberations Monday afternoon after hearing closing arguments from defense attorneys, who argued that the case was tainted by Hood’s mentor after he tried to solicit two witnesses to implicate the Morris brothers in return for money. They also argued that Hood lied to police nine times by saying both twins were involved in the assault. He later changed his statement to say Markieff wasn’t involved in the beating but had been in the vicinity. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
The last defendant in the trial, Gerald Bowman, was also found not guilty on two counts of aggravated assault. The two other co-defendants plead guilty to assault charges on Sept. 13.