Johnny Manziel's family violence case could be dismissed
DALLAS - Former NFL quarterback Johnny Manziel reached a tentative deal to have his domestic assault charge involving his ex-girlfriend dismissed.
The Heisman trophy winner from Texas A&M was at the Dallas County Courthouse with his lawyers for the Thursday hearing. He stayed behind while the lawyers worked on an admonishment agreement in the judge's chambers.
The case stems from a January incident involving his ex-girlfriend. It began at a Dallas hotel and ended at the woman's Fort Worth apartment.
The exact details of the agreement have yet to be worked out. Judge Roberto Canas gave the two parties until December 1 to reach an agreement. Manziel will have to agree to specific terms that he will have to abide by over a six month time period. If he drops the ball, he'll be back in court to face the original misdemeanor family violence charge
Criminal Defense Attorney Pete Schulte does not represent anyone in the case but explained why these agreements are typically offered.
"Either the alleged victim is not on board with actually prosecuting and going to trial or they've talked to the alleged victim and they believe that this is the best way to handle this case," explained Criminal Defense Attorney Pete Schulte, who is not involved in the case.
Schulte says the terms are often very strict and can have a variety of conditions, including monitoring for alcohol and drug abuse - issues that have swirled around Manziel since his college days.
"He's going to have to do certain things, probably anger management, maybe a batterer's intervention prevention," Schulte said. "If he completes all those things, then the case will get dismissed."
Bianca Jackson of the Genesis Women's Shelter is concerned. She believes accountability must be a part of any agreement to dismiss the charges.
"For victims, the message is why would I even come forward if a dismissal is a potential outcome?" she said. "With this case, the eyes are on it. And I think that it's an opportunity for us to get it right. And if we miss it, it sends a negative message to victims in the future, and it can reinforce abusive behavior if they see that there is no consequence for the actions."
The next date for Manziel's case is December 1 at 9 a.m. The judge ordered all parties to be present.