KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – The attorney representing Tennessee football player Jaylen McCollough filed a motion Wednesday disputing the narrative of events that led to his Oct. 9 arrest on a charge of felony aggravated assault.
The motion filed by attorney Chloe Akers states that she will seek to have McCollough’s assault charge dismissed on the grounds that he was acting in self-defense when he punched a man who entered his apartment.
According to the arrest warrant, the victim told investigators that he accidentally entered the wrong apartment, in the wrong building, after having been drinking. He claimed that McCollough followed him outside of the apartment and punched him at the top of the stairs, “approximately 30 feet from the door,” causing him to fall down the stairs.
Citing eyewitness testimony from two people, including McCollough’s roommate and fellow Tennessee football player Warren Burrell, the defense attorney asserts that it was only after the victim threatened to come back inside the apartment that McCollough punched him one time in the face.
Both McCollough and Burrell reported that the altercation occurred within two feet of their front door, nowhere near the top of the stairs. They also said the man never turned his back to them and left, which would contradict the initial report that the physical altercation began after he walked well away from the apartment.
A preliminary hearing has been set for Friday, Nov. 18. Akers also filed a motion seeking to have the hearing moved up to Thursday, Nov. 10.
While head coach Josh Heupel said that McCollough was not suspended following the incident, the senior defensive back did not play in games against Alabama and UT-Martin.
Akers said ahead of the UT-Martin game that McCollough had been cleared of violating the University’s Code of Conduct after an investigation by the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards.
Heupel said Thursday that McCollough has been with the team this week but declined to comment on his status for Saturday’s game against Kentucky.