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Steelers' Justin Layne Has Felony Gun Charge Dropped, Pleads Guilty to Misdemeanor

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVMay 6, 2021

EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY - SEPTEMBER 14: Justin Layne #31 of the Pittsburgh Steelers looks on during the second half against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium on September 14, 2020 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)
Sarah Stier/Getty Images

Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Justin Layne pleaded guilty to three misdemeanors in connection to an April arrest, according to the News-Herald's Andrew Cass.

His guilty pleas were part of a deal with prosecutors that allowed him to avoid a fourth-degree felony charge of felony transporting a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle. That was reduced to possession of criminal tools, a misdemeanor.

Layne received a six-month suspended jail sentence. He won't have to serve that sentence as long as he pays a $500 fine, forfeits his Glock handgun, and performs six months of community control sanctions and 32 hours of community service.

The 23-year-old was arrested April 23 in Lake County, Ohio. Police said they initially pulled him over because he was traveling at 89 mph in a 60 mph zone. Authorities subsequently discovered his license was suspended, and he had an outstanding warrant after failing to appear for a traffic violation. Police also found a handgun in the car, for which Layne didn't have the proper conceal-carry permit.

The Steelers selected Layne in the third round of the 2019 NFL draft. He has 25 total tackles in 26 appearances for the team.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Gerry Dulac projects the former Michigan State defensive back to be behind Joe Haden and Cam Sutton in the depth chart and move into the first string when Sutton operates as a nickelback.