Grand Jury

When I wrote my blog about Johnny Manziel’s Dallas situation yesterday, I wasn’t expecting there to be any movement on the case anytime soon. A news report claimed that the detective working the case had been put on a special  patrol duty and any findings would be delayed.That turned out to only be partially true – the detective had completed his investigation and turned his findings over to his superiors for review and a decision. Late this afternoon the DPD announced that they are turning the case over to the Dallas County District Attorney with the recommendation that the investigation be turned over to  a grand jury. Dallas news outlets reported that the police said that they had insufficient evidence to charge Manziel with a Class A misdemeanor for assault.

This move by the DPD has opened a lot of questions. Dallas attorneys have said this is very unusual. One lawyer claimed it means they have evidence against Manziel but another well-known attorney says just the opposite. He believes the DPD wants to get rid of the case and let somebody else be responsible. This same attorney has said previously that a recommendation to turn a case over to a grand jury is a “red flag” that there are problems with the case. He says that the move may be an indication that the evidence they have does not support Miss Crowley’s allegations, which is very likely the situation.

What does this mean for Manziel? Right now, nothing. If the DA decides to put the case before a grand jury, then it will mean he will most likely be called to appear before them (without an attorney present.)  It is possible the DA will decide to drop the prosecution. In the event he is indicted, then he will have the option of a plea bargain or pleading not guilty, which would mean the case would go to trial in which case the odds are that he will be found not guilty. The charge mentioned as  a result of Crowley’s allegations is Class A Assault, a misdemeanor. It’s Class A because she suffered some injury. Texas laws limits punishment for such a misdemeanor to a maximum of one year in jail, a $4,000 fine or both. Since this would be a first offense for Manziel, he would most likely get probation (if the prosecutor is determined to get a conviction, she will no doubt offer probation as an incentive for him to plea bargain.)

This case could be over in a week or it may drag on for months or even years.