DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM/AP) – Johnny Manziel made his first court appearance in Dallas on Thursday morning after his indictment in a domestic violence case. The 23-year-old former Cleveland Browns quarterback was given the conditions of his release.
Manziel reported to a Highland Park jail for booking and a mugshot on Wednesday. Authorities released the photograph later Wednesday afternoon.
The Heisman Trophy winner and former Texas A&M star was indicted by a grand jury last month after his ex-girlfriend stated that he had hit her and threatened to kill her during a night out in January. Colleen Crowley has said that Manziel forced her into a car at a Dallas hotel and struck her several times as they traveled to Fort Worth. A police report said that, after being punched, Crowley temporarily lost hearing in one ear.
Manziel faces a Class A misdemeanor that carries up to one year in jail and a $4,000 fine.
Manziel’s lawyer has said that they do not want special treatment in this case, and it did not appear as though Judge Roberto Canas was going to offer any. The former NFL player was ordered to physically appear before the judge on Thursday in order to post his $1,500 bond, rather than just sending legal representation.
The judge on Thursday set two conditions for Manziel’s bond. First, the former NFL player is not allowed to have any contact with his ex-girlfriend — including phone calls, text messages, emails and letters — even in response to conversations which she initiates. Second, the judge told Manziel to surrender any firearms, but he said that he did not own one.
The hearing lasted less than 10 minutes. “I feel good,” said Bob Hinton, attorney for Manziel, after exiting the courtroom on Thursday morning. “It is exactly what we anticipated. It’s just the same as any other case.”
The judge could have also ordered Manziel not to leave Texas or even Dallas County. The former NFL player is frequently seen at nightclubs and concerts around the country. But he was not placed under this condition. Manziel’s next hearing takes place in June, but Hinton does not think that the athlete will have to attend.
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