Johnny Manziel, the once-promising quarterback who has squandered his potential with inconsistent play and off-the-field substance abuse and legal issues, has been indicted by a Texas grand jury over a domestic violence incident involving his girlfriend.
As the Dallas Morning News reports, a Dallas County grand jury officially indicted Manziel Monday morning. Although the grand jury voted to indict on Wednesday, indictments in Dallas County aren’t official until after two working days, meaning Manziel’s indictment became official on Monday.
In January, Manziel and his ex-girlfriend, Colleen Crowley, met up with each other in Dallas to talk. The pair had been broken up for two months by that time, but when Crowley spotted Manziel in town, she invited him to her hotel.
— Larry Brown Sports (@larrybrownsport) April 25, 2016
According to Crowley’s complaint to Fort Worth police, Manziel slapped her in the head and hit her so hard that he ruptured her left eardrum, causing her to lose her hearing. She also said that Manziel dragged her by her hair to his car and then drove her to Fort Worth, where she lives.
Police interviewed witnesses at the hotel and reviewed hotel security footage to corroborate Crowley’s story.
Because Manziel’s alleged crimes occurred in two jurisdictions, Dallas and Fort Worth, police initially treated the incident as two separate cases but later decided to combine them into one.
Monday’s indictment officially charges Manziel with a Class A misdemeanor. Dallas grand juries usually only hear felony cases. If convicted and given the maximum sentence, Manziel faces a year in jail and a $4,000 fine.
Meanwhile, the NFL is conducting its own investigation into the allegations against Manziel. If he’s found guilty of violating the league’s personal conduct policy, Manziel would be suspended without pay for at least six games for a first offense and would face a lifetime ban from the NFL for a second offense.
However, the potential ramifications of Manziel’s case as far as the NFL is concerned are moot; as of this writing, since Manziel is currently without a team.
Following two seasons of inconsistent play on the field and numerous off-the-filed incidents of partying and drinking, as well as a stint in rehab, Manziel was cut by the Cleveland Browns in March.
— What You Know, Rocks (@WhatYouKnowRock) April 25, 2016
Unfortunately, the former Heisman Trophy winner’s problems were just beginning.
Manziel’s original agent, Erik Burkhardt, dropped him after last season. A new agent, Drew Rosenhaus, dropped Manziel last week, telling the once-promising quarterback to seek help.
New York Times writer John Branch opines that Manziel’s troubles are emblematic of the harsh and dehumanizing way the NFL treats promising young players.
“Manziel is the latest example, playing out in real time as another draft approaches. To read online comments and social media posts about Manziel’s troubles — arrests, parties, rehabilitation — is to explore the underbelly of fandom, dismissive and cruel. Schadenfreude is the flip side of reverence, and perhaps a stronger attraction.”
Manziel, for his part, still insists that he’s going to be able to turn things around, get his demons under control, and find a job with another NFL team.
In a statement, Manziel said he intends to focus on doing what it takes to play football this fall.
“I’m hoping to take care of the issues in front of me right now so I can focus on what I have to do if I want to play in 2016. I also continue to be thankful to those who really know me and support me.”
As of this writing, neither Johnny Manziel nor his attorneys have publicly commented on his indictment.
[Photo by Andrew Weber/Getty Images]