Alvin Kamara pleads not guilty to felony charge after Las Vegas brawl


New Orleans Saints running back Alvin Kamara, Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Chris Lammons and two other men pleaded not guilty Thursday to a felony battery charge, plus a related misdemeanor, stemming from a incident shortly before last year’s Pro Bowl in Las Vegas.

NFL players and the other two men, Darrin Young and Percy Harris, are accused of severely beating Darnell Greene Jr. after an altercation began outside an elevator at a Las Vegas nightclub. Greene, a Houston resident, also filed a $10 million lawsuit against Kamara for allegedly “using violent force against (Greene) with intent to inflict actual harm.”

In the lawsuit (via The Associated Press), Greene alleged that he suffered a fractured orbital bone and injuries to his head, face, neck, shoulders, back and knees.

A Nevada grand jury indicted Kamara, 27, and the other three men last month with aggravated assault causing substantial bodily harm and misdemeanor conspiracy to commit assault.

Kamara’s lawyers have argued that their client is innocent, and after his not guilty plea on Thursday, a member of his legal team said in a statement: “We look forward to the trial and a full vindication.” A jury trial has reportedly been set for July 31.

The incident happened around 6:30 a.m. on a Saturday. Greene told police that he and Kamara’s group were waiting to board an elevator when the doors opened and Kamara put his hand on Greene to prevent him from getting on. When Greene pushed the hand away, he told police, he was violently attacked by Kamara and others.

Surveillance footage from the site of the nightclub, a popular venue in the basement of a Las Vegas hotel and casino, shows a melee breaking out near an elevator. Videos then show a man being chased down a hallway by a group who knock him to the ground before punching and kicking him.

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The following day, Kamara played in the 2022 Pro Bowl, after which he was questioned by police at the stadium and subsequently placed under arrest. The other three men were reportedly arrested a few days later. A member of the Chiefs at the time, Lammons was waived by Kansas City in January and claimed last month by the Bengals.

A lawyer for Lammons said Thursday (via the Las Vegas Review-Journal) that the 27-year-old defensive back fought back after being pushed around at the start of the altercation. Lammons’ attorney said his client followed the group down the hall and kicked before attempting to pull Harris away from Greene.

“He’s not here to trample anyone, and he’s not here to hit people multiple times,” said attorney Ross Goodman. “Chris’ response was measured for what he perceived to be an instigator.”

For Kamara, Lammons and the other two men, a felony conviction could result in a sentence of one to five years in state prison.

A third-round pick by New Orleans in 2017, Kamara spent his six-year NFL career with the Saints while proving to be one of the best running backs of his era. The 2017 Associated Press Offensive Rookie of the Year, he was a five-time Pro Bowl selection.

Lammons came undrafted from South Carolina in 2018 before signing with the Atlanta Falcons and then the Saints, with whom he was briefly Kamara’s teammate. Lammons saw his first game with the Miami Dolphins in 2019 and then played with the Chiefs for the next three seasons.

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