Texas prosecutor may drop assault charge under deal with Manziel

Reuters News
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Posted: Dec 02, 2016 3:33 PM

By Lisa Maria Garza

DALLAS (Reuters) - Former Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel has agreed to take an anger management course and be treated for substance abuse under a deal that could lead to the dismissal of a charge that he assaulted his ex-girlfriend earlier this year.

Under the agreement with the Dallas district attorney's office, Manziel must complete the course and enroll in either the NFL's substance abuse program or a court-approved rehabilitation facility, court records show. He must also a attend a panel on the impact of domestic violence and have no contact with former girlfriend Colleen Crowley.

Manziel, a star player at Texas A&M University before he entered the National Football League, was charged with a misdemeanor after Crowley accused him of hitting, kidnapping and threatening to kill her during an incident in January.

Manziel, 23, has one year to complete the requirements or the district attorney's office said it would prosecute the charge.

"A conditional dismissal agreement is only the beginning of the process of educating an individual on how to make better choices when facing conflict," the office said on Friday in a statement. "Success or failure will depend upon one's commitment to the treatment programs included."

"My client is pleased to be able to put this part of the situation behind him and is eager to satisfy the terms of the agreement," his attorney Jim Darnell said in a statement.

Manziel has not spoken to the media about the indictment.

The Dallas incident was another setback for the former Heisman Trophy winner, whose erratic play and partying prompted the Browns to cut him in March after two seasons with the team. Manziel, nicknamed "Johnny Football," won the Heisman as the most outstanding college player in 2012.

Manziel is also facing a lawsuit filed this week in Travis County, Texas, after an employee of an Austin bar accused the former NFL quarterback of punching him and breaking his nose. Austin police have said they are investigating the September incident but have not filed any charges.

The agreement announced on Friday stipulates that prosecutors will pursue the charge that Manziel assaulted his ex-girlfriend if he is charged with any other crime in the next 12 months.

(Editing by Frank McGurty; Editing by Sandra Maler)