Does butt-slapping deserve jail time?
Former NFL star Chad "Ochocinco" Johnson does not think so – he is pleading with a judge to spare him jail time after angering her with his courtroom antics.
Adam Swickle, who represents Johnson, has filed a motion asking the judge to reconsider her ruling, claiming his client meant no disrespect when he slapped his attorney on the butt.
According to TMZ, a hearing has been set for Monday. Until then, Johnson will be waiting it out in the slammer.
The drama all began when Johnson appeared at a sentencing hearing for his probation violation stemming from the domestic violence case involving his ex-wife, Evelyn Lozada.
After Johnson playfully slapped his attorney on the butt while still in court, the judge changed her mind about allowing the former Miami Dolphin to do community service and counseling instead of jail time.
Initially, Broward County Circuit Judge Kathleen McHugh had decided to just tack on an additional three months' probation because Johnson had failed to meet with his probation officer during three previous months.
But then Johnson, when asked by McHugh if he was satisfied with his lawyer, gave Swickle a light swat on the rear — as football players routinely do to each other on the field. The courtroom erupted in laughter. At that, McHugh said she wouldn't accept the deal.
"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, slapping the plea deal document down on her desk. "The whole courtroom was laughing. I'm not going to accept these plea negotiations. This isn't a joke."
Johnson, 35, tried to apologize and insisted he meant no disrespect.
"This is your courtroom. I have no intent to make this a joke. It's not funny," Johnson told the judge "My life is in a shambles right now and I try my best to laugh and keep a smile on my face."
But McHugh, who could have given Johnson up to a year in jail, was not moved.
"It's not the first time he's behaved that way in my courtroom," she said.
Johnson then was handcuffed and hauled away to jail.
Johnson has been undergoing therapy aimed at helping people with domestic violence issues. He said in court Monday he hoped he would sign with another football team, but a contract has failed to materialize.
"He has suffered. He has lost everything," Swickle told the judge.
Based on reporting by The Associated Press.