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Jury sides with Panthers' Beason in civil trial

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By MIKE CRANSTON
AP Sports Writer

CHARLOTTE, NC (AP) -- Carolina Panthers linebacker Jon Beason has won a civil trial brought by a man who claims the three-time Pro Bowl pick punched him in the face at a Charlotte strip club.

After five hours of deliberations over two days, the jury of eight women and four men determined Thursday that Beason did not strike Gregory Frye. The jury also ruled that Frye slandered Beason and awarded Beason $1 in damages.

Beason testified he confronted Frye at the Uptown Cabaret in November 2009 for telling other patrons he once saw Beason snorting cocaine at a party. Beason, who said he's never used illegal drugs or failed a NFL drug test, said he tried to take a swing at Frye, but was held back by friends an didn't hit him.

Frye testified an "enraged" Beason broke his nasal cavity.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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