Vols' Johnson found not guilty of assault

Updated: May 25, 2007, 6:46 PM ET
Associated Press

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. -- A jury on Friday found Tennessee cornerback Marsalous Johnson not guilty of assault, after an off-duty sheriff's deputy said Johnson waved a gun at him while driving on the interstate.

When the deputy alerted on-duty officers and they pulled over Johnson's vehicle, they found a toy Uzi submachine gun under the passenger seat.

Johnson's case was postponed several times since the incident last July and finally went to trial in Putnam County Circuit Court. A jury found Johnson not guilty of simple assault, court clerk Marcia Borys said.

Johnson was originally charged with aggravated assault, but the charge was lowered to a misdemeanor in November and sent to a grand jury.

"I am really happy for Marsalous and his family. They have been through a lot of heartache and emotion through all of this," coach Phillip Fulmer said in a statement.

Johnson, a rising sophomore, was suspended for the first four games of last season as punishment for the arrest. He is projected to start at cornerback this season.

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press