PENNSYLVANIA, (Washington Insider Magazine) – Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Justin Layne reached a plea deal Wednesday regarding his arrest in Ohio last month where police found a loaded gun in his car during a traffic stop.
Layne, 23, pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of possessing criminal tools and two traffic violations as a result of his April 23 arrest in Willoughby Hills, according to The Associated Press. As a part of the deal, the fourth-degree felony charge of improper handling of a firearm in a motor vehicle was dropped.
The Michigan State product was given a suspended 180-day jail sentence and will serve six months probation and perform 32 hours of community service.
Layne was arrested shortly after 1 a.m. after police caught him driving nearly 30 mph over the speed limit. During the traffic stop, officers found a loaded 9mm handgun inside the center console and observed “loose marijuana particles strewn throughout the vehicle,” according to a police news release.
A records check showed he was driving with a suspended license and he had an outstanding warrant for failure to appear on a traffic violation in another jurisdiction, police said. It was also noted by law enforcement that the football player was not a licensed conceal-carry permit holder in Ohio.
Footage from inside the back of the police car appeared to show Layne talking nervously about the weapon, even saying at one point: “It’s over, I’m going down.”
He was drafted in the third round by the Steelers in 2019 and has 25 tackles in 26 NFL games.