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Felony gun charge for Pittsburgh Steelers player dropped as part of Lake County plea deal

Updated: May. 5, 2021 at 9:23 AM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - A Pittsburgh Steelers player who was initially arrested in Lake County on gun and traffic violations reached a plea deal with prosecutors on Wednesday.

Justin Layne appeared in front of a Willoughby Municipal Court judge to plead guilty to possession of tools, a first-degree misdemeanor. In exchange, a felony weapons possession charge was dropped.

As part of the agreement, Layne must pay a $500 fine, forfeit his firearm, perform 32 hours of community service, and abide to six months of probation.

Layne, a cornerback for the Pittsburgh Steelers, was arrested along I-90 in the early morning hours of April 23, according to the Willoughby Hills police chief.

Police said Layne was driving his Dodge Charge at 89 miles per hour when he was detected by a Willoughby Hills officer in a 60 mile per hour zone.

During the traffic stop, police discovered that Layne was driving with a suspended license. He was taken into custody after it was also discovered that he had an outstanding arrest warrant out of another jurisdiction for failing to appear in court.

A loaded Glock 9mm pistol was found by officers in the car’s center console, according to Willoughby Hills police. Layne is not a licensed concealed carry permit holder in Ohio.

Additionally, loose pieces of marijuana were also found in Layne’s car, but he was not charged with any drug violations.

The 23-year-old native of the Cleveland area who attended Benedictine High School was booked at the Lake County Jail.

Justin Layne
Justin Layne(Source: Willoughby Hills police)

During Wednesday’s court appearance, Layne admitted that it was a “stupid” mistake to be driving under suspension with a loaded handgun in his possession.

As part of the plea deal, Layne was ordered by the judge to attend a gun safety instructional course. If he violates his probation terms, Layne will be sent to jail.

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