District Attorney announced he will not file charges in the investigation against Chiefs’ WR Tyreek Hill. A crime has occurred but no conclusive evidence as to who committed it.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) April 24, 2019
“We are deeply troubled by this situation and are concerned about the health and welfare of the child in question,” said Steve Howe, district attorney in Johnson County, Kansas. “We believe that a crime has occurred. However, the evidence in this case does not conclusively establish who committed this crime.”
Howe declined to detail the specifics of the case, he said during a news conference Wednesday afternoon, because of an ongoing investigation by state child welfare authorities.
“It bothers us when we see something like this happen to a child . . . and there’s nothing we can do about it,” said Howe.
The investigation stemmed from two separate occasions in March in which police in the Kansas City suburb of Overland were called to the home Hill shares with his fiancee, Crystal Espinal, 24. Police reports released in connection with those calls, on March 5 and March 14, don’t detail the specifics of the alleged act, and characterize Hill and Espinal, 24, as “others involved.”
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) April 25, 2019
Hill, one of the league’s most electrifying talents who was poised to sign a record-setting contract extension just a few weeks ago, still faces the possibility of punishment if the NFL concludes he violated the league’s personal conduct policy.
Neither the league nor the Chiefs immediately responded to requests for comment. But the NFL has been monitoring the situation, according to the Kansas City Star, and last month sent police a letter seeking all records relating to the investigation. Police responded to the NFL with the same two reports sent to the media regarding the investigation, which offered little in the way of details. Howe, the district attorney, said the NFL would receive no special treatment, and have access to only the same sparse records available to the news media.
In college, Hill was kicked off Oklahoma State’s football team in 2014 after he was arrested on charges of punching and choking Espinal, who was eight weeks pregnant with their son at the time. He later pleaded guilty to domestic assault and battery, drawing a sentence of three years’ probation, and the conviction was a major factor in causing his stock with NFL teams to plummet. The Chiefs selected him in the fifth round of the 2016 NFL draft.
Since entering the NFL, however, Hill had stayed out of trouble off the field while establishing himself was one the league’s best wide receivers and kick returners. He completed his probation requirements – taking anger management classes and participating in a batterers’ intervention program – and reconciled with Espinal. Last September, they got engaged, and in January, Hill said his fiancee was pregnant with twins.
In early March, just days before police were called to Hill’s home, reports circulated the Chiefs had begun negotiations with Hill’s agent, and were discussing a potential record-setting deal for the wide receiver, in the range of $100 million over five years. But those negotiations likely hit a standstill when the news emerged about the most recent investigation.
This is the second time in a matter of months the Chiefs have been dealing with a star player accused of violence. Last December, the Chiefs released Kareem Hunt days after TMZ published footage showing the running back had shoved and kicked a woman in a Cleveland hotel months earlier. Hunt was signed by the Cleveland Browns in February, and last month the NFL suspended him for the first eight games of the upcoming season over the incident.