Friday, February 7
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Former NFL defensive end and ex-ESPN analyst Hugh Douglas is expected to plead no contest to a misdemeanor to resolve a case that accused him of assaulting his girlfriend at a Hartford hotel, his lawyer said Friday.
Douglas, 42, of Bryn Mawr, Pa., had faced felony assault and strangulation charges, but he is expected to plead no contest to a breach of peace charge Monday in Hartford and avoid a jail sentence, attorney Corey Brinson told The Associated Press.
Brinson declined to elaborate on the proposed plea deal. He said a judge will decide whether to accept it and what the sentence should be.
"I expect Monday to be his last day at court," Brinson said.
The Associated Press left messages Friday for Douglas and a state prosecutor.
Douglas played for the New York Jets, Philadelphia Eagles and Jacksonville Jaguars from 1995 to 2004. The AP named him the NFL's Defensive Rookie of the Year his first season. He also was a football analyst for ESPN from 2011 until last year.
Hartford police said the alleged assault occurred at the Hartford Marriott Downtown hotel in the early morning hours of Sept. 22. The woman, who was not identified, first told police that nothing happened, but then claimed Douglas grabbed her by her neck in a hallway and slammed her against the walls several times while carrying her back to their room during an argument, according to a police report.
Douglas told an officer that the woman's neck injury was from "rough sex," the report says.
Brinson denied the woman's accusations, told a judge that she gave conflicting statements about what happened and said TV personalities can become targets for false charges by people hoping to make money. He also said the woman was upset with Douglas because he refused to pay for breast enhancements for her.
Douglas has declined to discuss the allegations and why he was in Hartford in September. He remains free on $50,000 bail.
"Whatever happens after this, we just hope that it (the case) goes away quickly," Douglas said after being arraigned in October.
Prosecutor Mirella Giambalvo has said the woman fears Douglas.