STUDIO CITY (CBSLA) – A Los Angeles judge has ruled that former NFL player Jonathan Martin should stand trial for a disturbing and threatening Instagram post early last year which forced the closure of his former high school in Studio City.
An L.A. County Superior Court judge ruled Wednesday that there’s enough evidence to have Martin stand trial on three felony counts of making criminal threats and one misdemeanor count of carrying a loaded firearm in public, the Los Angeles Times reports.
The 29-year-old Martin had initially been charged with four counts of criminal threats, one for each of the people mentioned in the post, but the judge dismissed one of the charges because the purported target — current L.A. Chargers center Mike Pouncey — was quoted saying he was “not concerned” by it, the Times reports.
A pretrial hearing was scheduled for Jan. 30, according to the Times.
On Feb. 23, 2018, Harvard-Westlake closed both its high school campus in Studio City, and its middle school in Holmby Hills, after a threatening post on Martin’s Instagram account showed a shotgun and referred to his former prep school by name.
The post had the text: “When you’re a bully victim & a coward, your options are suicide, or revenge.”
The image included “#HarvardWestlake” and “#MiamiDolphins” superimposed over the shotgun, along with social media handles for former Miami Dolphins teammates Richie Incognito and Pouncey, along with a pair of former Harvard-Westlake classmates.
When Martin was detained that same day, TMZ reports, LAPD officers found an ax, a knife and a loaded shotgun in his possession. Martin was placed in a 72-hour psychiatric hold after he was detained, but was later released.
The L.A. County district attorney’s office charged Martin in March and issued a warrant for his arrest. He remains free on bail.
According to court documents, Martin’s girlfriend said that had been making suicidal statements in the month leading up to his Instagram post. Martin had also been sending disturbing messages to two of his former high school classmates — James Dunleavy and T.J. Taylor — who were both named in Martin’s Instagram photo.
In 2013, while playing for the Dolphins, Martin was the victim in a bullying scandal that sparked a national conversation about the issue and resulted in Incognito’s suspension.
Incognito currently plays for the Buffalo Bills. Martin retired from the NFL in 2015.