Marshall football player found not guilty in alleged attack

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — A Marshall University football player was found not guilty of all charges after he was accused of attacking a woman last October in Huntington.

A jury in Cabell County found Brandon Drayton not guilty of strangulation and domestic battery charges Wednesday.

Brandon Drayton

The criminal complaint in the case said Drayton, who was 22 at the time, was spotted by a Marshall University police officer grabbing a female victim around the neck and shoulder area and yelling at her October 23 just after noon.

The incident was reported in the 400 block of 21st Street. The investigators on the case said the victim had red marks around her neck and chest area.

The jury viewed photos of the victim that showed redness and bruising around the woman’s collarbone and neck area. The victim said during trial that she doesn’t remember the exact location of Drayton’s hands.

Drayton’s attorney argued that there was no evidence that the victim had been strangled and airflow had been restricted. Investigators said there inconsistences in the victim’s three separate statements.

In 2019, Drayton was a junior on the Herd from Largo, Fla., with 46 tackles on the season before he was immediately suspended. He has 159 career tackles in 32 games and is still listed on the Marshall football roster.

Marshall University released the following statement on behalf of Drayton’s verdict, “We are pleased that due process was served and that the legal system found Brandon Drayton innocent. Brandon, the football program and the athletics department are eager to move forward and put this behind us.”

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