Newton pleads not guilty, requests jury trial.

Actor Matthew Newton has entered a plea of not guilty to assault charges in Miami Dade County Court, following an incident last month in a US hotel.

Newton’s lawyer, John Skerry, also lodged documents requesting a trial by jury.

The charges relate to an incident with Courtyard Marriott lobby clerk Ariel Vargas last month. CCTV footage and audio of a 911 call have since attracted media coverage.

A police report indicated both men told police the other had spat in his face before a punch was thrown.

Newton still faces charges of trespass and resisting arrest without violence following an earlier incident at Mr Moe’s bar in Miami and assault charges relating to an incident with a Sydney taxi driver in December.

US media have begun reporting on Newton’s antics: “The 35-year-old Newton might not be well known Up Here, but Down Under he’s shaping up as the Charlie Sheen/Sean Penn/Robert Downey Jr. of Australia. Troubles aside, Newton is considered quite the Australian TV, film and stage star. Credits include Bitter and Twisted, The White Devil, and Stupid, Stupid Man.”

Newton was due to appear in Miami Dade County Court for on May 11, but this date will be vacated now that he has pleaded not guilty.

A Miami judge has imposed no restrictions on Newton’s travel and he is free to leave the US.

Source: Herald Sun


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