Alvin Kamara Pleads Not Guilty, Faces Tough Road As Lawyers Vow To Raise Self-Defense Claims At Trial Despite Damning Video

NFL: Carolina Panthers at New Orleans Saints
Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

New Orleans Saints running back Alvin Kamara pleaded not guilty Thursday in a Nevada court to felony battery charges, including conspiracy to commit battery and substantial bodily harm charges. Kamara and three others, including Bengals cornerback Chris Lammons and two other men named Percy Harris and Darrin Young, were indicted on February 16th on charges stemming from an incident back in February of 2022 at Drai’s nightclub in Las Vegas.  Lammons also entered not guilty pleas on Thursday. 

Kamara was arrested after the 2022 Pro Bowl, which became controversial in and of itself because police did not arrest him before the game. According to police, Kamara and his group allegedly assaulted a man named Darnell Greene, at Drai’s on Feb. 5th.

Greene told police he was waiting for an elevator inside The Cromwell Las Vegas Hotel Casino and claims that Kamara allegedly put his hands on Greene’s chest. Greene claimed that when he pushed Kamara’s hands off of him, the other men in the group started allegedly repeatedly kicking and punching him. Greene suffered numerous injuries including an orbital fracture on his right eye, according to his civil lawsuit against Kamara, which was filed back in October. The suit seeks $10 million dollars in damages.

Police obtained surveillance video that they claim verifies Greene’s account. The video, obtained by TMZ Sports, shows all four suspects, including Kamara, attacking Greene while he is down on the ground.  The video could make it extremely difficult for Kamara to get a plea deal or win if his case goes to trial.

The case was delayed last year, and Kamara played 15 games gaining 897 yards rushing and catching 57 passes for 490 yards. If convicted, Kamara could face one to five years in prison.

“He intends to vigorously fight the allegations at trial as he was defending himself and the others at the time of the incident,” according to a statement by Kamara’s lawyers.

Self-defense claims will be difficult for Kamara to win if the video shows that Kamara was the initial physical aggressor as Greene claims. Furthermore, self-defense must be proportional to the force exerted. The video allegedly shows Kamara and his group repeatedly punching and kicking Greene when he was down, which could generally exceed the necessary force for a self-defense claim.

Kamara also faces a minimum six game suspension if he is disciplined by the league, following a resolution in criminal court. The league generally will wait for the criminal side of things to wrap before concluding its own investigation.

Kamara’s trial regarding the two criminal charges is set for July 31st.