Nashville Predators forward Austin Watson pled no contest to the misdemeanor charge of domestic assault in a Tennessee courtroom on Tuesday morning. The charge stems from an incident with his girlfriend at a gas station in late June. He was sentenced to three months probation as this was his first offence.
— Tennessean (@Tennessean) July 24, 2018
Domestic Assault: Austin Watson Pleads No Contest
Watson was placed on the pretrial diversion program by Justice M.T. Taylor Jr. If he completes his recommended courses and abides by the terms of his probation, his record will be expunged. The conditions of his probation include a 26-month intervention course aimed at preventing domestic violence, an inpatient treatment program for drugs and alcohol and that he maintain peaceful contact with his girlfriend. The woman recently gave birth to the couple’s daughter. If Watson violates the terms of his probation, he could face up to a year in prison.
“Austin is very appreciative of the support he has received from his fans, from his family, from his teammates,” his Williamson County-based attorney Mark L. Puryear III told the Tennesseean and other media as he stood beside Watson following the hearing. “He’s looking forward to getting back on with his life, he and (his girlfriend) are looking forward to getting back together with their daughter.”
Neither the NHL nor the team has released any comments about the situation following the no-contest plea. It remains to be seen what action the NHL and the Predators will take with regards to Watson’s on-ice status.
UPDATE: The League has now released a statement
— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) July 24, 2018
The 26-year-old Watson has spent his entire four-year career with the Predators.
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SAN JOSE, CA – NOVEMBER 01: Austin Watson #51 of the Nashville Predators looks on during the game against the San Jose Sharks at SAP Center on November 1, 2017 in San Jose, California. (Photo by Rocky W. Widner/NHL/Getty Images)