In a stunning turnaround to a case that almost ended the budding career of 49ers star linebacker Reuben Foster, a judge on Wednesday dropped domestic violence charges against the football player after the woman who initially accused him of beating her testified that she lied. She had injuries when police arrived, but "nothing to suggest she had been punched in the face 10 times by the defendant, who is a professional football player", Klippen said.
Foster appeared in a Santa Clara County courtroom on Wednesday when the judge announced the domestic violence case would be dismissed due to insufficient evidence. The charge of possession of an assault weapon was reduced to a misdemeanor.
Klippen, however, said Ennis' testimony that she was enraged over the end of their relationship was believable. Teammates Adrian Colbert and Jaquiski Tartt arrived to court with Foster on Wednesday in a show of support. He previously pled not guilty on May 7 to felony domestic violence.More news: Global warming may have ‘devastating’ effects on rice
Last week, though, Ennis recanted her entire account.
Finally, Klippen pointed to Ennis' admission that she falsely accused a boyfriend of domestic violence in 2011 as well as her testimony that she stole from Foster after the February 11 breakup. Klippen said neither story from Ennis was "particularly credible" but that Ennis testified "at considerable peril to herself" and against the advice of her attorney.
The judge also said she found no evidence that Ennis was coerced or compensated for retracting her statements.More news: Former NAACP Leader Rachel Dolezal Charged With Welfare Fraud
"Some have wondered why we still think Mr".
Steven Clark, a criminal-defense attorney and former county prosecutor, said Klippen deftly toed a line between projecting sympathy for domestic-violence cases and upholding strong evidence standards. Foster seriously hurt his girlfriend. Ennis also stunned onlookers in court that day by admitting she had previously been arrested in Louisiana for filing a false domestic violence report against another ex-boyfriend in 2011 when that man tried to break up with her. Recantation is common among domestic violence victims.
The prosecution's case against Foster took a devastating turn last week when Elissa Ennis, the ex-girlfriend of the linebacker, testified that her initial accusations were all lies. The judge dropped the former two charges while reducing the weapon charge to a misdemeanor. "Whatever the cause, we move forward on cases when victims falsely recant because we know that if we don't more victims will be hurt".More news: Australia considers diplomatic action against Russian Federation over MH17 findings
Foster ranked second on the team previous year with 72 tackles in 10 games as a rookie and looked like a key part of San Francisco's defensive future.