A Dallas County grand jury, believed to be hearing domestic violence allegations involving professional football quarterback Johnny Manziel, spent most of the day Thursday behind closed doors.
Grand jury hearings are secret and the Dallas chamber has a back door where witnesses can enter away from public view.
However, an investigator known to be involved in the case was seen at the chamber, and a spokesperson for the Dallas County District Attorney's Office said an announcement would be made Thursday if the panel chose not to indict Manziel. There was no announcement by the close of business Thursday. The spokesperson said criminal charges would be made public Monday if that is the grand jury decision.
Former girlfriend Colleen Crowley accused Manziel of beating her and kidnapping her at a Dallas hotel where she visited him Jan. 29. She said he then took her to her Fort Worth apartment where she later gave Fort Worth police a statement. Fort Worth police passed the investigation to Dallas police, but the department declined to press charges.
Records show both Manziel and Crowley had been drinking alcohol that night.
Criminal defense attorney Russell Wilson, a former Dallas County prosecutor, said the lack of police charges suggests the case is weak.
"It would tell you they don't believe or don't feel comfortable saying there is sufficient probable cause to file the charge. So they're going to refer the matter to the grand jury to allow them to make an evaluation of the case," Wilson said.
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Police turned the case over to the District Attorney's Office months ago, and Wilson said the lengthy grand jury session Thursday suggests the celebrity case received a thorough review.
"Often times these are very brief hearings, but in this case it appears as if this may be a longer hearing," Wilson said. "And proceedings are generally secret so you can maintain confidentiality, at the same time make a judicious inquiry."
If charged with misdemeanor domestic violence and convicted, Manziel faces up to a year in jail. Since the incident, the former Texas A&M quarterback has been released by the Cleveland Browns and dropped by two sports agents.
"Like a lot of other domestic violence cases, it's challenging. And I'm sure it's emotional for all the parties involved," Wilson said.