Former Seattle Seahawks player Leroy Hill was arrested for domestic violence but will not face felony charges, according to the King County Prosecutor's Office. Prosecutors felt that the evidence to support a felony domestic violence charge was insufficient and are referring the case to Issaquah city attorneys. Hill may still face misdemeanor charges for his role in an alleged assault on his girlfriend.
Hill was arrested in January when his girlfriend told police that the linebacker had assaulted her numerous times over a five-hour period. After investigating the case, prosecutors felt there was insufficient evidence to support the victim's claim and dismissed felony charges against the football player. Prosecutors have not stated exactly what made them determine that the evidence was insufficient.
Felony domestic violence may be difficult to prove in some circumstances. Depending on what happens between the parties, a domestic abuse case may hinge on witness testimony, physical evidence and other factors. If the two participants tell different stories and there is little physical evidence to back up either claim, prosecutors may be unwilling to pursue a conviction, especially if the victim is a public figure whose trial would bring heavy media coverage.
A criminal defense attorney may be able to provide a solid defense for individuals accused of domestic violence. During a divorce or period of conflict in an otherwise stable conflict, emotions may run high, and individuals may act out of emotion or lodge false accusations against their partner out of spite. Often, it is one partner's word against the other in such cases, with little other evidence and no other witnesses. A skilled defense attorney may be able to evaluate the circumstances and testimony in order to mitigate domestic violence charges or have them dropped altogether.
Source: The Washington Post, "Former Seattle LB Leroy Hill won't face felony charge in domestic violence arrest", Associated Press, May 08, 2013
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