I’ll give you one guess. No, it’s not Warren Sapp! Former moonlighting Tight End Jerramy Stevens was arrested, yet again. Stevens, who has a lengthy history of legal snafus was arrested in Kirkland, Washington on Monday November 12th for Fourth Degree Domestic Violence upon his US soccer star fiancé Hope Solo.
According to a police report the happy couple were arguing over whether they would live in Washington or Florida. Police responded to a disturbance at around 3:45AM involving approximately 8 people. Upon arrival Police interviewed several of those people who proved to be uncooperative. Police later observed a scratch on Solo’s arm and found Stevens upstairs in the residence hiding between a bed and a wall. No doubt Stevens is a candidate for the “alibi of the year” award for his excuse that he was simply upstairs napping and slept right through the scuffle downstairs. Naturally, Police weren’t buying what Stevens was selling based on the blood on his shirt, his later admission that he argued with Solo, the injury to her elbow, and the fact that the room he was “napping” in looked as if there was a recent slap fight within. Consequently Stevens was arrested. A judge who didn’t feel there was enough evidence connecting him to an assault, later released Stevens.
Fourth degree domestic violence in Washington appears to be their least serious misdemeanor and comparable to a domestic battery charge in Florida. Were this classy encounter to have occurred in Florida, Stevens would have been arrested for domestic battery. In Florida, domestic battery is nothing more than a battery occurring between those who are family or live or have lived in the same household. A battery occurs when one intentionally touches or hits another, against the will of the other or intentionally causes bodily harm to another. In Stevens and Solo’s case if Stevens touched her against her will or tried to cause the injury to her arm, his actions would satisfy the elements of a Florida domestic violence charge.
As any decent Tampa criminal lawyer will tell you, just because elements can be met in a domestic battery case that doesn’t mean the charge will stand. Practically speaking, because Solo appeared at Stevens’ first appearance and remained silent, she no doubt does not want to go forward on these charges. Uncooperative victims are the largest obstacles for a State Attorney prosecuting a domestic battery case. There is no way the State will be able to prove without testimony of Solo or others at the party, that Stevens 1) touched her against her will or 2) intentionally caused her injury. Further, there is no way to prove he touched her at all considering the scuffle involved 8 people.
Having been a Tampa criminal attorney for the last 6 years I can tell you with confidence the State Attorney will not pursue these charges. Unless a very credible witness comes forward, there is no proof Stevens committed the crime. For all anyone knows at this point (assuming no one comes forward with evidence to the contrary) Solo could have attacked him and he defended himself resulting in her boo booed elbow. The first appearance Judge could not even find probable cause connecting Stevens to the allegation, a standard best described as “yeah he probably did it.” If the State doesn’t have the ability to meet this standard they certainly will not be able to prove this case beyond a reasonable doubt, the highest standard under the law. Without that ability they should not in good faith move forward with these charges.
For a recent Florida Domestic violence case, read this Jacksonville Criminal Lawyer Blog.
Jason Mayberry is the founding partner of The Mayberry Law Firm, a law firm focused on Federal and State criminal defense and serious injury representation. If you are in need of an attorney, please give us a call at 813-444-7435 or contact us online.