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Adam Jones’ legal punishment may lessen due to nurse’s civil suit

“She thought she hit the lottery cause a Bengal spit on her hand or whatever; that's good for her,” said Hamilton County prosecutor Joe Deters. “But we don't play that game."

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NFL: Adam Jones Archive Sam Greene-USA TODAY Sports

Among the worst parts of Adam Jones' January 3rd arrest was the felony charge for his alleged spitting on a jail nurse during the bookings process.

Last week, the Cincinnati Enquirer learned the nurse in question, Tammy Hopkins, who Jones allegedly spit on, was upset by how Jones' case is being handled, and that she believes Jones is being let off easy.

“She was told by Prosecutor Deters not to show up, that the case is continued, and ‘we’ll call you,’” Hopkins’ attorney, Robert Karl, told the Cincinnati Enquirer. “I guess she got, for lack of a better word, a talking-to from Deters, and she’s not very happy about it. They basically patted her on the head and told her to get out.”

In response, Hamilton County prosecutor Joe Deters said Hopkins’ lawyer is "out of his mind.”

Now, there’s more information being uncovered. WLWT has learned that Hopkins is trying to reach a financial settlement of her own in a civil suit with the Bengals cornerback. Unsurprisingly (knowing what we know about Deters and this case), Deters is not happy about Hopkins trying to go down the path of a civil suit.

"That's kind of a problem for us, because when they start going down the civil path we usually do not do things criminally," Deters told WLWT. "They clearly have gone down the civil path."


"My understanding is she wanted $200,000," Deters said. "I don't care what it's worth civilly. If she gets a million dollars, good for her, I don't care. But I'm not going to be her collection agency, and I'm not going to be part of that."

That means the charge involving the spitting incident, a felony, may be off the table.

That last sentence is very important. If the felony incident is off the table, that could drastically impact Jones’ punishment as all other charges from that night were misdemeanors (assault, disorderly conduct and obstructing official business).

"Once they go down the civil route they're on their own," Deters said. "She chose to do that. She thought she hit the lottery cause a Bengal spit on her hand or whatever; that's good for her. But we don't play that game."

Jones is currently in alcohol and anger management and Deters is waiting to see how he does before making a decision on next steps (that’s expected to happen in the next month). Deters has also delayed the case as he wants the NFL to act before he does in deciding on Jones' punishment. Though, it’s unlikely the NFL makes a move before the legal system plays out in full.

If Hopkins’ personal quest to make money off the incident removes the felony charge from Jones’ record, it could majorly impact the punishment Jones receives from Hamilton County.

Jones is due back in court on March 23, though the case has already been continued twice and could be pushed back again.