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Judge rules Ja Morant acted in self-defense against teen

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A Tennessee judge ruled that Grizzlies’ guard Ja Morant acted in self-defense when he punched a teenager at his home, according to court documents.

Shelby County Circuit Judge, Carol Chumney, ruled that Morant “enjoys a presumption of civil immunity” under Tennessee’s self-defense immunity statute and that the burden of proof shifts to Holloway and his legal team to prove that Morant didn’t act in self-defense.

The ruling was made on Monday and came after a civil immunity hearing that took place in December 2023.

During that hearing, Morant testified that he “swung first” at Joshua Holloway, who was then 17, to “protect himself” during an altercation in July 2022.

Ja Morant’s lawyers cite ‘stand your ground’ law, self-defense in pickup basketball lawsuit

Holloway filed a lawsuit accusing Morant of assault in September of the same year.

Reports say the altercation stemmed from a pickup basketball game. Holloway was allegedly frustrated by losing several games and was accused of throwing the ball at Morant’s face during a check-ball situation.

Morant then claimed that he and Holloway stepped towards each other and he gave the teenager the chance to say that he did not intend to throw the ball at his face.

Instead, Holloway allegedly “squared up,” bumped into Morant’s chest, and got ready to fight. That is when Morant said he punched the teen.

In a statement to ESPN, Holloway’s attorney Rebecca Adelman expressed disappointment in the ruling, but said that she and her counsel will continue to “advocate for Joshua”.

Judge allows Ja Morant’s lawyers to argue he acted in self-defense in lawsuit about fight with teen

Morant’s attorneys didn’t immediately respond to ESPN’s request for comment.

A trial was scheduled to begin in late April, but it is expected to continue at a later date.

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