Dallas grand jury indicts football's Manziel for domestic violence

Tue Apr 26, 2016 12:14pm EDT
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By Lisa Maria Garza

DALLAS (Reuters) - Former U.S. football star Johnny Manziel was charged on Tuesday with hitting his former girlfriend, the latest in a string of setbacks for a quarterback whose erratic play and partying prompted the Cleveland Browns to cut him from the team in March.

A grand jury met last week to consider an indictment against Manziel, 23, who could face up to a year in jail if convicted. He now must surrender to be booked on the charge and have bail set.

"Johnny will certainly plead not guilty and we believe the evidence will support that plea," Manziel attorney Jim Darnell said in a statement.

Dallas County prosecutors did not comment on when they expect Manziel to surrender.

The charge against Manziel stems from a January incident in which he is suspected of hitting, kidnapping and threatening to kill Colleen Crowley, 23. She accused Manziel of hitting her so hard that she temporarily lost her hearing, court papers show.

The indictment for a class-A misdemeanor charged Manziel with hitting Crowley and forcing her into a car.

Manziel, who became known as "Johnny Football" while winning the Heisman Trophy in 2012 as the best player in college football, was taken by the Browns in the first round of the National Football League draft after leaving Texas A&M University.

Cleveland cut him in March after two years of erratic play on the field and an off-the-field lifestyle that led to a trip to a rehabilitation center after his first season. He has been dropped by two agents this year and the media reported he was blamed for more than $30,000 worth of damage at a Los Angeles home during a party this month.   Continued...

Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel (2) scrambles under pressure against the Cincinnati Bengals in Cincinnati November 5, 2015.   Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports/File Photo