Ja Morant Was Defending Himself When He Punched Teen, Tennessee Judge Declares

Joshua Holloway, then 17, accused Morant of assault.

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Ja Morant got let off the hook during a civil suit that took place this week.

According to ESPN's Baxter Holmes, on Monday, the Memphis Grizzlies point guard was given a self-defense ruling from a July 2022 altercation, in which he punched 17-year-old Joshua Holloway outside of his home during a pickup game. Allegedly, Holloway grew frustrated after losing to Morant multiple times, resulting in hitting the NBA star in the face after making a one-handed pass. In a previous report, Holloway alleged that Morant punched him a dozen times before entering his home to retrieve a gun.

Holloway also accused Morant's friend, Davonte Pack, of stepping in to punch him, in which Pack was arrested for misdemeanor assault, a charge that was later dismissed. Morant also filed a defamation lawsuit, claiming that Holloway "intentionally" threw the ball at him to cause the altercation.

Ultimately, Shelby County Circuit Judge Carol Chumney ruled in favor of Morant, saying that the athlete "enjoys a presumption of civil immunity" per self-defense laws in Tennessee.

Holloway's attorney, Rebecca Adelman, admitted that the team was "disappointed" but "will continue to take the steps necessary to protect and advocate for Joshua."

The ruling might have also been surprising to the accuser, as Morant has a storied history of threatening violence and brandishing weapons. Last June, Morant was suspended for 25 games for flashing a gun in a Denver nightclub on Instagram Live, just months after posing with a firearm in a vehicle, also caught on Instagram Live. For the latter incident, Morant was suspended for eight games.

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