<
>

Vols' Johnson found not guilty of assault

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.