Lingering questions about Johnny Manziel’s domestic violence case, football career – Dallas Morning News (blog)
6 months ago Comments Off on Lingering questions about Johnny Manziel’s domestic violence case, football career – Dallas Morning News (blog)
There’s no date set for when former Aggie and Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel must appear in court on his domestic violence case.
He’s heading back to Los Angeles “just to go about his life,” his attorney Bob Hinton said after Manziel appeared in a Dallas courtroom this week.
Manziel, 23, is accused of kidnapping, hitting and threatening to kill his ex-girlfriend, Colleen Crowley, in January at Hotel ZaZa in Uptown Dallas during a fight over another woman. They broke up in December after dating for two years.
Crowley, 23, told police that Manziel had invited her to his hotel room to talk and that he slapped her head, rupturing her eardrum and causing her to lose her hearing. She said he then dragged her by the hair and forced her into a car, which he drove to Fort Worth, where she lives.
Here are three lingering questions about the former Heisman Trophy winner and his future:
1. Why is the domestic violence case against Manziel a misdemeanor and not a felony?
“The misdemeanor all comes down to serious bodily injury,” said Dallas defense attorney Toby Shook, a former top Dallas County prosecutor who is not involved in the Manziel case.
That means, he said, death, substantial risk of death or “protracted loss or impairment.”
Shook said he doesn’t believe that applies.
“The fact that she got her hearing back, I don’t think they could prove serious bodily injury,” Shook said. “They were weaker on that, so that is probably why they went with the misdemeanor.”
Had Crowley’s hearing loss been permanent, Shook said, the charge might have been a felony.
Crowley also accused Manziel of kidnapping her by forcing her into the car. But Shook said “it’s not a strong case” for kidnapping. He suggested the alleged act could be interpreted as unlawful restraint — but that is also a misdemeanor.
2. Will Manziel’s case go to trial?
“I think there’s a good chance it goes to trial because of the effects it could have on his professional football career,” Shook said.
If Manziel wants to play again, Shook said, he will want a chance to clear his name if his attorneys can’t get the case dismissed.
3. Will Manziel play in the NFL again this year or ever?
From Dallas Morning News reporter Brandon George, who covers the Dallas Cowboys:
It’s unlikely Manziel could regain the trust of an NFL team in time to see the field in 2016.
He is free to sign with any team, but why would an organization take on a player who has consistently shown his priority is partying over practicing? Furthermore, most NFL teams addressed their quarterback needs in last week’s draft and would be less willing to take a chance on Manziel.
Quarterbacks who can’t make it work in downtrodden Cleveland — and there have been several — usually don’t resurrect their careers elsewhere.
Even if a team took a big chance on Manziel, he is facing the possibility of a lengthy suspension when he returns to the NFL because of his involvement in a domestic violence case. Manziel doesn’t have to be convicted for the NFL to suspend him for a violation of the league’s personal conduct policy.
Bottom line: It’s almost a certainty that Manziel won’t play professional football in 2016.
And, after being dropped recently by two agents, Manziel faces a long road back to the NFL at any point.
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