Jonathan Martin Avoids Jail Time On Felony Charges With Mental Health Diversion

Illustration for article titled Jonathan Martin Avoids Jail Time On Felony Charges With Mental Health Diversion
Photo: Lynne Sladky (AP Photo)

Former Dolphins offensive lineman Jonathan Martin will not face any jail time for the charges brought against him for threats he made on an Instagram post in February 2018. According to a report from Nancy Dillon of the New York Daily News, Martin was instead granted a mental health diversion program where he’ll be expected to attend weekly meetings with a psychotherapist, see a psychiatrist on a bi-monthly basis, and follow the law and an AA program. If he follows this program for two years, all three of his pending felony charges will be dismissed.


This decision was not only made because the judge saw that the criminal actions Martin was accused of doing were motivated by “unspecified depressive disorder and alcohol use disorder,” but also because ex-teammate, and current Raider, Richie Incognito told prosecutors he supported the idea.

Per the report:

Martin was a candidate for diversion because he does “not pose a significant danger to public safety” while in treatment, Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Richard Kirschner said.“(Martin) independently made efforts to address his issues and did frankly an excellent job in bringing himself to a state of stability and good mental health,” the judge said.

On Feb. 23, 2018 Martin posted the following on his Instagram story:

The shotgun, scattered ammunition and threatening message—“When you’re a bully victim & a coward, your options are suicide, or revenge”—resulted in Incognito fleeing to a safe house with police help. Martin ultimately checked himself into the hospital after he made the post, but the damage had already been done. Since the post included the team where he suffered emotional abuse, his former high school where he said he was constantly bullied, and the names of people Martin said had bullied him, there was enough cause to bring criminal charges against him. It also didn’t help that the post went up nine days after the shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. After Friday’s hearing, Martin was understandably apologetic.

“I am thankful that this matter has finally come to a conclusion. I want to apologize to my high school alma mater for my reckless and selfish actions,” he said in a statement. “I am eager to put this matter fully in the rear view mirror and to continue forward with my life. I plan to eventually speak more candidly about mental health, substance abuse, and selfishness, and ultimately about perseverance & personal triumph.”


Martin only had to face three felony charges of making criminal threats as former teammate Mike Pouncey ended up getting dropped at the preliminary hearing because he apparently didn’t take Martin’s threat seriously.

After three tumultuous seasons with the Dolphins, Martin was traded to the 49ers for the 2014-15 season before he was waived at the end of the football calendar year. The Panthers claimed him off waivers, but the lineman retired just a few months later at 26 years old.