Johnny Manziel’s lawyer who accidentally sent The Associated Press
a text message with details related to his domestic violence case has resigned, said a spokeswoman for the troubled, teamless Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback.
Denise Michaels on Monday confirmed her earlier tweet that Bob Hinton had withdrawn from the defense, which is being led by El Paso attorney Jim Darnell.
The AP reported last week that Hinton’s inadvertent text indicated he had doubts about Manziel’s ability to stay clean and that he was given a receipt that allegedly shows Manziel may have spent more than $1,000 at a drug paraphernalia store the day following a hit-and-run crash.
The text was sent Wednesday after the AP sought comment via text about the crash.
The 23-year-old Manziel faces a misdemeanor assault chart on allegations of hitting and threatening former girlfriend Colleen Crowley in January.
On Friday, Manziel’s father, Paul, told ESPN.com his son has refused repeated efforts to help him.
“I don’t know what to say other than my son is a druggie and he needs help,” he told the website. “If I have to bury him, I’ll bury him. That’s the fact. So if not, if he calls me and needs help, I’ll go get him. Until then, he’s on his own. I’ve done everything I can do.”
Dallas police said Manziel reported that his car had been struck Monday night in a hit-and-run, but Hinton said in the text that there was “conflict as to whether Johnny reported it or not.” Manziel was not seriously injured.
It’s unclear how close Manziel’s domestic violence case is to being resolved. Similar cases usually result in deferred adjudication probation, meaning the charges are dismissed after one to two years, said David Finn, a Dallas attorney and former judge who is not associated with the Manziel case.
Finn said drug-testing conditions depend on whether the defendant has shown a pattern of substance abuse. The defendant is normally required to enroll in anger management classes and a domestic violence program, an outcome similar to that of Dallas Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant when he faced a misdemeanor charge in 2012 over an incident in which he allegedly struck his mother with a hat.
Manziel’s rise and fall has long been punctuated with headlines for his off-field partying. The Browns selected the player dubbed “Johnny Football” in 2014, but he struggled on the field and was dropped this year.
Since the 2015 season ended, two agents have cut ties with Manziel after demanding a second trip to rehab. He also faces potential punishment from the NFL under tougher standards regarding domestic violence cases adopted in 2014 following the Rice case. However, he is not currently with a team, and therefore not subject to league policies.
The allegations stem from a night out on Jan. 30. Crowley alleged Manziel accosted her at a Dallas hotel, a confrontation that continued downstairs to the valet station. She said he forced her into a car and that a valet disregarded her pleas for help.
The two eventually drove to where her car was parked in front of a Dallas bar, she said in an affidavit. She said Manziel got into the driver’s seat and began to drive. Crowley said Manziel stopped when she tried to jump out of the car, but that he then dragged her back inside and hit her.
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