Predators forward pleads no contest in Williamson County domestic assault case, receives probation


Predators forward pleads no contest in Williamson County domestic assault case, receives probation

PHOTO: Attorney Mark Puryear, right, speaks for his client, Predators forward Austin Watson, left, after Watson’s “no contest” plea in the Williamson County courthouse on Tuesday, July 24, 2018./Brooke Wanser

By BROOKE WANSER

On Tuesday morning, Predators forward Austin Watson appeared in the Williamson County courthouse, pleading no contest to a misdemeanor charge of domestic assault from an incident in Franklin last month.

In an agreement with the district attorney, Watson, 26, agreed to submit to three months of probation and a batterers’ intervention program.

If he successfully completes all terms of the agreement, the charge will be dismissed and expunged from his record, attorney Mark Puryear said.

Puryear clarified that Watson is not admitting guilt but pleading no contest, “in his best interests.”

Watson, center, walks out of the Williamson County courthouse on Tuesday, July 24, 2018./Brooke Wanser

Initial incident

According to the arrest warrant, Watson was seen arguing with his girlfriend on Saturday, June 16, at a Shell gas station on Murfreesboro Road.

A Franklin Police officer was flagged down by a witness, and he said he observed the female passenger backing away from the car, trying to cover her face, and saying “stop.”

Watson told the officer he and the woman, his girlfriend, were having an argument about her drinking and not being able to attend a wedding.

The report says he admitted to pushing her, and the officer found red marks on her chest; she also confirmed the mark were from an incident with Watson.

Court date

Assistant District Attorney Sarah Davis said she had spoken to the victim, who did not press for the case to move forward.

Davis said she had not spoken with other witnesses, but that the female witness gave some inconsistent statements.

Standing side by side, Puryear answered media questions for Watson after the brief hearing.

“Austin is very appreciative of the support he has received from his fans, from his family, from his teammates, and he is looking forward to getting back on with his life,” Puryear said. “He and [his girlfriend] are looking forward to being back together with their daughter.”

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