By Nomaan Merchant
DALLAS — Johnny Manziel is expected to be indicted Tuesday on allegations that he attacked his ex-girlfriend in January, an attorney for the troubled former NFL quarterback said Monday.
Robert Hinton told The Associated Press that prosecutors have notified him they expect a local grand jury to sign off on a misdemeanor assault charge for family violence for the 23-year-old Manziel. The Class A misdemeanor carries up to one year in jail and a $4,000 fine.
Hinton, a longtime Dallas defense attorney with ties to the district attorney’s office, said he expected a judge to set a bond soon after Tuesday’s indictment and that Manziel would then present himself for booking. He said there have not yet been any discussions about reaching a deal to end the case before trial.
Brittany Dunn, a spokeswoman for the Dallas County district attorney’s office, previously declined to confirm media reports Monday that Manziel had been indicted. Prosecutors announced last week that they had presented a misdemeanor assault case against Manziel.
An indictment would further imperil Manziel’s chances of playing pro football. He was cut by the Cleveland Browns, dropped by two agents and no longer has endorsements.
His indictment stems from allegations by his ex-girlfriend, Colleen Crowley, who alleges that he accosted her at a Dallas hotel and later struck her when they drove back to her apartment in Fort Worth. Crowley was granted a protective order that requires Manziel to not see her for two years, stay at least 500 feet from her home and place of work, and pay $12,000 in legal fees.
Crowley alleged she and Manziel had a confrontation in the hotel room that eventually continued downstairs to the valet station. She said he forced her into a car and a valet disregarded her pleas for help. The two eventually drove to where her car was parked in front of a Dallas bar, she said in an affidavit. She said Manziel got into the driver’s seat and began to drive. Crowley said Manziel stopped when she tried to jump out of the car, but then he dragged her back inside and hit her.
She also said in the affidavit that Manziel threatened to kill himself as he drove her back to Fort Worth, about 30 miles west of Dallas, where police were called.
In the wake of the allegations, Manziel’s father said the family had made two recent, unsuccessful attempts to get him into a rehab clinic. Manziel, who entered the NFL with a reputation for partying and drinking, spent 73 days last winter in a Pennsylvania treatment center specializing in care for alcohol and drug dependency.
A deal between Manziel’s attorneys and prosecutors to avoid a trial could include an agreement that Manziel seek anger management or domestic battery counseling, or undergo some form of substance abuse rehab, lawyers watching the case have said.
Lawyers have noted the case has been handled unusually. Rather than arrest Manziel, Dallas police sent their case for referral to a grand jury.