Jolly likely free to play in 2009

Even with charges likely to be refiled, the latest delay probably will push a trial back until mid-2010.

Instead of starting on Thursday, Johnny Jolly's trial in Houston for possession of codeine was canceled because charges were dropped.

Prosecutors expect to refile the charge in the next 90 days, according to a spokeswoman for the Harris County (Texas) District Attorney's Office, once Houston Police Department officials are trained on a piece of equipment used to determine how much codeine is in a substance.

Once charges are refiled, "Odds are, it will be treated like a brand-new case all over again," the spokeswoman, Donna Hawkins, told Packer Report. She said the case would follow the same timeline as this case. Jolly was arrested on July 8, 2008. Getting to this point took a year, so a new trial likely would begin about the same time in 2010, Hawkins said, though she wouldn't rule out the case being expedited.

If found guilty, Jolly would face up to 20 years in prison, though as a first-time offender, he'd likely receive only probation. A guilty plea would result in a suspension by the league, perhaps for four games.

Jolly, a sixth-round pick in 2006 who started all 16 games last season, is scheduled to be a free agent after this season, so it's possible the Packers choose to move in another direction.


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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at packwriter2002@yahoo.com, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/packerreport and Facebook under Bill Huber.

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