Tulsa, OK Criminal Defense & Family Law Blog

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Johnny Football Facing Domestic Violence Investigation

Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel, aka, "Johnny Football," is under investigation in Dallas after his ex-girlfriend, Colleen Crowley, recently filed a domestic violence complaint.  According to police, Manziel allegedly hit the woman “several times” at a Dallas hotel in the wee hours of the morning of January 30.

 "Detectives will thoroughly investigate the case to determine what criminal charges, if any, will be filed, and victim services will be offered," police said at the time.

What is domestic violence?

Domestic violence is the willful intimidation, physical assault, battery, sexual assault, and/or other abusive behavior by an individual against another person in the home. This conduct is said to be part of a pattern of power and domination by one "intimate" partner against another. Domestic violence includes  psychological, and emotional abuse and can occur in any relationship between those in a close living arrangement.

The “MO” of abusers can vary, but these individuals may deny the existence of violence or downplay the seriousness of a violent situation. Abusers often blame their actions on their partner’s behavior, stress, alcohol, drugs and other factors.

Manziel's History of Problems

Johnny Manziel has had a history of problems during his short NFL career, largely centered on drinking and violating team policies. This long-standing pattern of behavior dates back to his college days. In the wake of his latest troubles, his agent, Erik Burkhardt, has cut ties with the quarterback.

 "Though I will remain a friend and Johnny supporter… it has become painfully obvious that his future rests in his own hands,” said Burkhardt.

Moreover, Manziel’s father also expressed concerns about his son’s behavior and how it might lead to an untimely end for the flailing NFL star. It has also previously been reported that the Cleveland Browns intend to part ways with the beleaguered quarterback. Meanwhile, Manziel has reportedly denied that he hit his girlfriend.

The Police Report

Ms. Crowley told police the two were alone at an upscale hotel in Dallas after a night of partying when Manziel "became aggressive, and hit her several times.” Then, after insisting on driving her home because she was drunk, he hit her again in the car. Upon arriving home, she fled to a neighbor’s home and called police. Fort Worth police did not charge Manziel at the time because they did not believe there was evidence of a crime. Ms. Crowley also had made conflicting statements and refused to let investigators photograph her injuries.

While it is uncertain what the outcome of this incident will be and whether or not charges will be brought is unclear, this adds to Manziel’s tarnished legacy. He went to an alcohol- and drug-treatment center in Caron, Pennsylvania in early 2015, soon after the end of his rookie NFL season.

As with any other individual facing such allegations, Mr. Manziel has a legal right to the presumption of innocence. Nonetheless, domestic violence is a serious issue and anyone facing criminal charges should consult with a qualified criminal defense attorney. 

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