Michigan defensive back Marlin Jackson was arraigned Tuesday on charges of assault with a deadly weapon and aggravated assault, according to Washtenaw County Chief Assistant Prosecutor Joseph Burke. Jackson, who will be a junior in the fall, appeared in front of 15th District Court Magistrate Michael Gatti and pleaded not guilty.
Along with a $2,000 fine, the Sharon, Pa. native faces up to four years in jail on the assault with a deadly weapon charge and one year of probation on the aggravated assault charge.
Jackson stands accused of striking a 26-year-old man over the head with a glass bottle after leaving a party in the early morning of June 1. The victim suffered three cuts around his left eye, including one that necessitated 17 stitches.
A preliminary hearing has been set for August 13.
At media day on Saturday, head football coach Lloyd Carr supported his star defensive back.
“Some of the leaks to the media have been inaccurate, and in my judgment, some of those leaks have been unprofessional, maybe worse,” Carr said. “What I do know, what Marlin has told me, is that number one, he did not initiate the confrontation. Number two, and in my judgment the most critical issue, is that he is adamant that he did not use, or did not have possession of, a bottle or any kind of object. I think there’s compelling evidence that supports his position.
“He is practicing and I will continue to let this situation play its way through the justice system and we’ll see how it resolves itself, and at that time I will make some decisions on his status on this team.”
This past spring, Carr moved Jackson from cornerback – the position he played in his first two seasons at Michigan – to free safety. Although the shift was experimental at first, Carr recently announced that Jackson would start at the position in Michigan’s season opener against Central Michigan.
“(Moving Jackson to safety) gives us the advantage of putting our 11 best players on the field,” Carr said. “It gets Marlin in a position, as a free safety or a safety who’s in the middle of the field, where he’s the kind of guy who’s capable of making a lot of plays.”
Jackson was selected as a leading candidate for the Jim Thorpe Award, presented annually to the nation’s top defensive back. At Big Ten meetings in Chicago, the media named the 20-year-old preseason Conference Defensive Player of the Year. In 2002, Jackson earned Associated Press second team All-America honors and set a Michigan record in pass breakups with 18.