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No charges for Maurice Jones-Drew in Conch House altercation

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Updated: 6/25/2013 9:04 pm
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The State Attorney's Office says it won't prosecute Maurice Jones-Drew for an altercation at a bar in St. Augustine, due to a lack of evidence.

Mojo's attorney Hank Coxe expressed relief at the outcome.

"I was pleased, Maurice was pleased. Maurice's words to me this morning were 'good I can get back to playing football and helping underprivileged kids," said Coxe.

The Jaguars running back was under investigation for simple battery. Kasim Howard, a security guard at the Conch House, said Jones-Drew hit him in the face last month.

"Based on the facts and the law the State cannot establish the charge beyond and to the exclusion of all reasonable doubt," wrote Assistant State Attorney Christopher France.

The Jaguars running back spoke to Action Sports 360's Brent Martineau shortly after the announcement.

"Naturally I am pleased with this result and look forward to focusing on football," said Jones-Drew. "My rehab is going well and I'm anxious to join my teammates at the start of training camp."

The incident began during Reggae Sundays at the Conch House over the Memorial Day holiday weekend.

Attorney Gregory Anderson said Jones-Drew sucker-punched Howard during an altercation.

Anderson said Howard was attempting to protect a woman who was being harassed by a member of Jones-Drew's entourage.

According to an earlier statement from Anderson, Howard never spoke to or confronted Jones-Drew.

Anderson also said security video showed the Jaguars player running up behind Howard and slugging him.

In a letter to Assistant State Attorney Chris France, Coxe wrote Anderson's comments to the public "have caused considerable damage to Mr. Jones-Drew especially with respect to alleged injuries to Mr. Howard and what events are actually seen on the Conch House videos."

Mojo's attorney said the video does not show anyone throwing a punch, except Mr. Howard.  "It is impossible to tell from the video who was the recipient of that punch.  It was that punch that prompted the persons around Mr. Howard to converge in his direction, and whoever punched Mr. Howard may well have been permitted by law to respond.  He is large, extremely physically fit and a trained professional boxer," wrote Coxe.

Attorney Patrick Canan, who represents Kasim Howard, said he was disappointed to learn the State Attorney's decision.

"I hoped that the criminal justice system would sort of seek and find the justice, I don't think that it has, so I think it's my obligation to have the perpetrator held accountable," said Canan.

Canan says his client is considering a civil lawsuit against Jones-Drew but he will review the State Attorney's investigation.

Coxe also noted the security consultants working at the Conch House had brightly colored orange T-shirts with lettering showing they are security.

Howard, according to Coxe, wore a bright green T-shirt, "which does not appear to represent that he works there."

The attorney for the Jaguars running back also cited Howard's response to police about his dislocated vertebra.  Howard told police he was "told to take Tylenol," despite what Howard's attorney had described as a dislocated jaw and spinal injury.

Coxe also called it "especially troubling that the Conch House elected to sell the pertinent videos to TMZ" during the investigation. A claim Conch House management has denied.

The Jacksonville Jaguars told Action News the team won't be commenting.

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