NC State’s Markell Johnson facing assault charges

The suspended sophomore guard was indicted in his hometown of Cleveland, Ohio, and is scheduled for a pretrial conference on Thursday

NC State coach Kevin Keatts talks to guard Markell Johnson during a game against Penn State earlier this season (Rob Kinnan/USA TODAY Sports)

When Markell Johnson was suspended indefinitely from the NC State basketball team on Dec. 16, the reason given was a nonspecific violation of the school’s student-athlete code of conduct.

It’s now known what that violation was.

Eleven days earlier, the sophomore guard was indicted in his hometown of Cleveland, Ohio, and charged with felonious assault along with co-defendants Michael Melton Jr., Johnnie Pullum and Demarious Green. The alleged victim, Michael Blackwell, suffered a broken orbital bone, multiple cuts and a concussion in the incident, which took place on Oct. 8, according to a police report.

According to a court document posted on the Cuyahoga County Court Clerk website, Johnson turned himself in on Dec. 20 and was released on a $5,000 cash bond. He appeared before Judge Maureen Clancy for a pretrial conference on Thursday. His case was continued until sometime early next month.

Coach Kevin Keatts has declined comment on specifics involving Johnson’s case.

Johnson, a 6-foot-1 sophomore point guard, started the first 10 games for the Wolfpack this season. He scored a career-high 17 points in his final game before being suspended, on Dec.  9 against Missouri-Kansas City, and is averaging 8.7 points and 6.6 assists this season.

Per university policy, he will remain suspended until his case is resolved.