Panthers' Hardy pleads not guilty to assault charges

Caitlyn Holroyd / Reuters

Carolina Panthers defensive end Greg Hardy appeared in court Tuesday, and pleaded not guilty to charges stemming from a May altercation with his ex-girlfriend.

According to the Charlotte Observer, Nicole Holder, who accused Hardy of attacking her in the early morning of May 13 during an after-party at his uptown condo, was also in court to testify. 

Hardy faces charges of communicating threats and assaulting a female. If convicted, he could face up to 60 days in jail.

A witness in the case, Christina Lawrence, told the court Tuesday that she was at Hardy's condo on the night of the alleged assault, and recalled hearing arguing and someone being slammed into a wall while she was sleeping in one of the bedrooms.

Lawrence said she did not witness an assault, but heard someone say, "What are you going to do, break my arm?" She then left Hardy's condo and asked a security guard in the building to call 911.

Holder accused Hardy of throwing her to the floor and into a bathtub, slamming her against a futon, and strangling her. She also alleged that Hardy threatened to shoot her if she told anyone about the altercation.

"He looked me in my eyes and he told me he was going to kill me. I had never been so scared in my life," Holder told the court, per the Observer's Jonathan Jones. "I was so scared I wanted to die. When he loosened his grip slightly I said just do it. Kill me.

"I had accepted at that point that I was probably going to get killed."

Hardy is set to earn $13.116 million this season under the franchise tag. He and the Panthers have until Tuesday at 4 p.m. ET to reach an agreement on a long-term deal, but according to NFL Network's Albert Breer, it is unlikely the two sides will do so before the deadline.