Former Browns QB Johnny Manziel to Plead ‘Not Guilty’ to Domestic Assault

The Associated Press

After being indicted by a Texas grand jury on charges he assaulted his girlfriend, former Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel says he intends to plead “not guilty” to the charges.

The troubled ex-NFL player was indicted on Tuesday following allegations from an ex-girlfriend that he beat her in Dallas on January 30.

Through his lawyer, Manziel insisted he is not guilty but will turn himself in to authorities in the next few days.

“We certainly respect the decision of the grand jury but of course they only hear part of the case: What the D.A. chooses to share with them,” Manziel’s lawyer Jim Darnell said in a statement. “We don’t know what that was. Johnny will certainly plead ‘not guilty’ and we believe the evidence will support that plea. Out of respect for Ms. [Colleen] Crowley, we will not try the case in the press. We do, however, believe that Johnny will be acquitted at the conclusion of the case.”

The 2012 Heisman Trophy winner faces a charge of misdemeanor assault in the domestic abuse allegation. The grand jury found grounds to indict the former player upon allegations from Colleen Crowley that the player hit her and threatened to kill her.

“The Grand Jury’s review of Mr. Manziel’s case has resulted in a ‘true bill’, which means that there was probable cause found that Mr. Manziel committed a Family Violence Assault against the complainant,” said Dallas County District Attorney Susan Hawk. “Therefore, this case will move forward in the criminal justice system and be prosecuted by the District Attorney’s Office. As always, we respect the criminal justice process and the decision that the Dallas County Grand Jury has made in regards to this case.”

This is only the latest in a long list of troubles the former Browns player has faced in his all too short NFL career.

In March Manziel was released from the Browns after only 22 months in the NFL and not long after he lost at least some of his endorsement contracts.

Manziel’s troubles piled up during his short career as he missed practices due to over-partying, ran afoul of the Browns’ coaching staff, saw two agents quit on him, and was even chased by police in a helicopter during the January incident. In fact, the player’s own father has openly worried that his son may not live to see his 24th birthday.

Despite all this, Manziel insists that he’ll be back on the field next season.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at


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