Dallas DA to Pursue Charge Against Bryant - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth
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Dallas DA to Pursue Charge Against Bryant



    The Dallas County District Attorney's Office said it will pursue a misdemeanor domestic violence charge against Dez Bryant after an incident in mid-July at his mother's DeSoto home. (Published Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2012)

    The Dallas County District Attorney's Office said on Wednesday that it will pursue a misdemeanor family violence charge against Cowboys star wide receiver Dez Bryant.

    District Attorney Craig Watkins said Wednesday afternoon that his office has accepted the charge against Bryant and that a court date will be set.

    However, Watkins said his office could still decide to handle the charge differently in the future. In other words, the DA's office could still drop the charge or reach a plea deal, just as prosecutors could in any criminal case.

    "We had to do our due diligence and investigate," Watkins said. "We did that, and we determined that this a charge we need to pursue. That's not to say that down the line we may make a different determination, but at this point we are pursuing the charges against Dez Bryant."

    Bryant was arrested in July on suspicion of misdemeanor family violence against his mother, Angela Bryant. He was arrested on July 16, two days after an incident at his mother's DeSoto home.

    According to DeSoto police, Angela Bryant's shirt and bra were ripped and her son slapped her in the face with a baseball hat.

    At a press conference 10 days after the incident, Dez and Angela Bryant sat next to each other. Their attorney, Royce West, said that a disagreement happened, but that Dez Bryant did not commit family violence against his mother.

    Angela Bryant signed an affidavit saying that she did not wish to pursue charges against her son.

    In late July, the district attorney's office said it would review and investigate the case and decide whether to pursue the charge.

    Watkins said it is not unusual for victims to sign affidavits not wishing to pursue charges when a family member is involved. However, it is up to his office to determine what is best for the public, he said.

    "We have a responsibility to the public," Watkins said. "In this case, we will do what's necessary to protect the public."

    NBC 5's calls for comment and reaction from Bryant's attorney, Royce West, were not returned on Wednesday.

    So far, there is no court listing for Dez Bryant, according to the Dallas County's online court docket.