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Judge ends Adrian Peterson probation early amid controversy

Montgomery County District Attorney Brett Ligon said that PSA about positive parenting never happened.
Feb 6, 2015; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson leaves the U.S. District Courthouse with his wife Ashley Brown Peterson as the NFL Players Association's lawsuit against the NFL on behalf of Peterson is scheduled to reach federal court. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

The judge in the Adrian Peterson child abuse case has ended the NFL star running back's probation early and amid controversy he didn't fulfill all of its requirements.

Peterson pleaded guilty to misdemeanor reckless assault in November 2014. He admitted hitting his four-year-old son with a switch at his home in The Woodlands as a form of discipline. As part of a plea agreement, Peterson was sentenced to two years probation with a number of conditions. Those included performing 80 hours of community service and "preparing and performing a public service announcement concerning child discipline."

But Montgomery County District Attorney Brett Ligon said that PSA about positive parenting never happened.

"We were trying to turn a negative situation into a positive, and the judge waiving that requirement kind of robbed us of the opportunity to take a bad situation and turn it into something good for the community," Ligon told the KHOU 11 News I-Team by phone Wednesday evening.

Ligon said defense attorneys submitted a motion to terminate the probation July 29th, and Judge Kelly Case signed it the next day without holding a hearing on the matter.

"The fact of the matter is the State didn't have an opportunity to be heard, the State didn't have an opportunity to object," Ligon said.

Ligon also said Peterson may also not have satisfied other conditions of his probation.

He said he plans to file an appeal for the judge to reconsider his decision, so "so we can fully explore what exactly was done and what wasn't done."

Reached by phone Wednesday, Judge Case confirmed he signed the order ending Peterson's probation 15 months early, but he would not comment on Ligon's claims. It is not the first time Case and the District Attorney's office have butted heads. Ligon asked for, and received, a public apology after the Judge called attorneys in the Peterson case "media whores."

The Montgomery County District Attorney's office also has appealed the Judge Case's decisions on several unrelated cases.

Repeated calls and messages to Rusty Hardin, Peterson's attorney, were not immediately returned.

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