Ex-Redskin heads to trial after many delays
Former Washington safety accused of beating his girlfriend
VIRGINIA BEACH — It's been nearly four years since former Washington Redskins safety Curtis Jordan was accused of brutally beating and choking his girlfriend during an argument, leaving her in a pool of blood in her beachfront home.
Jordan, who had just turned 61 and was staying at his Virginia Beach home at the time, was charged with malicious wounding a few weeks after the Jan. 2, 2015, incident. He was arrested, then quickly released on bond.
Since then, the case has languished in the city's Circuit Court, with the trial repeatedly postponed. Dozens of motions, orders and subpoenas have been entered, creating a mountain of paperwork.
A multimillion-dollar lawsuit was filed against Jordan by his now ex-girlfriend, Virginia Beach orthopedic surgeon Jamie Alexandra Dale, nearly two years after the incident. That trial, too, repeatedly has been delayed.
But the criminal case is finally set to be tried Tuesday. Both sides have opted to have a judge, rather than a jury, decide it. It's expected to last about three days.
Jordan, whose primary residence is in his home state of Texas, has been allowed to travel extensively while out on bond. He's traveled to England, Scotland, Italy and Mexico, as well as making multiple excursions to Florida, Las Vegas and the Los Angeles area, according to documents in his court file. Most of his stays were in four- and five-star hotels.
His bond conditions, however, have been strict when he's in Virginia Beach. He's barred from driving in Croatan — the neighborhood where he and Dale own homes — and from coming within 200 yards of her. He's also required to wear an alcohol monitoring device when he's in town and must inform Dale's lawyers of when he plans to be here.
The civil case was supposed to be tried in federal court earlier this year, but got postponed at the last minute because of a conflict the judge had. Richard Doummar, one of Jordan's lawyers, indicated at the time that the defense planned to argue Dale was the aggressor that night.
They claim she was heavily intoxicated and confronted Jordan with a loaded gun. Any injuries she may have suffered were the result of Jordan trying to get the weapon away from her, according to the defense.
“He was trying to break up with her and she wasn't going to have it,” Doummar said. “He's telling the truth, his story makes sense, and we believe strongly that she was the aggressor and that she was trying to kill him.”
Dale claims the beating exacerbated a previous brain injury, leaving her with no chance of returning to her surgical career and causing a significant loss of income. It also has led to hefty medical bills, with more to come, and much physical and emotional damage, according to her lawsuit.
Dale's initial brain injury was caused by a car accident and was worsened later by a fall, according to Stephen M. Smith, one of her attorneys. She was forced to stop operating as a result, but her condition had begun to improve in the months before the assault, leading her to believe that she might soon be able to perform surgeries again, Smith said.
“It's really tragic,” he said. “She's a brilliant woman who loved being a surgeon. She was just starting to improve and was on the road back to doing surgery again when this happened.”
Just how serious Dale's brain injury is, and whether it was made worse by the alleged assault, is expected to be a major source of contention in the trials.
In the criminal case, the defense issued more than 50 subpoenas to get medical and psychiatric records from all of Dale's doctors for the past 10 years. Prosecutors sought to quash most of those, calling them an unwarranted invasion of Dale's privacy. Some of the defense's requests were granted, in whole or in part, and some denied.
Many of the criminal trial continuances have been caused by the records requests, as well as the difficulty in trying to coordinate the schedules of all the lawyers, doctors, experts and other witnesses involved in the case.
Jordan, now 64, retired from the NFL in 1986 after playing 11 seasons, first for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, then the Redskins. He was in two Super Bowls, including Super Bowl XVII in 1983, when the Redskins defeated the Miami Dolphins.
His greatest financial success, however, has come off the football field, as the owner of multiple restaurants and other businesses. Most are in his hometown of Lubbock, Tex.
Jordan and Dale began dating about two years before the incident, according to her lawsuit. Both are tall and athletic, with Jordan standing 6-foot-2 and Dale 5-10. Dale is 16 years younger than Jordan.
On New Year's Day 2015, the two spent most of the evening going to various homes and restaurants to watch college football, the civil lawsuit states. They went back to Dale's house sometime after midnight and soon got into an argument.
Dale claims that Jordan screamed at her, called her names and accused her of flirting with another man in front of him. She said when she slapped him, he began to brutally attack her, tackling her to the ground and repeatedly slamming her head on the floor. When she tried to get up, he swept her legs out from under her, causing her to fall and hit her head again.
She said she eventually was able to get to her bedroom to retrieve an unloaded gun. Jordan tackled her again, took the gun and choked her until she lost consciousness, the lawsuit claims. After coming to, she fled to her bedroom and blocked the door with a chair. Jordan tried to kick it in, then cleaned up the crime scene and left with her gun, the lawsuit says.
When Jordan returned early the next morning, Dale said, she was lying in bed, weak and bleeding profusely. She said she begged him to help her, but he refused. He left after cleaning more blood from the scene and gathering some of his personal items, the suit says.
Dale's neighbors became worried when they did not see her that morning and went to her house to check on her, the suit claims. An ambulance was called and Dale was taken to a hospital. Police and other emergency responders noted seeing blood on the carpet, a door frame, stairs and bedding.
Dale's injuries included head trauma, ripped tendons and bursitis of the elbow, according to a criminal complaint filed by a detective. The lawsuit states that she also suffered cuts to her head, ears and foot, an ankle sprain, a torn ligament and bruises all over her body. She was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder afterward and has difficulty sleeping, Smith said. The brain injury also has caused speech problems, he said.
“The intelligence is still there,” the lawyer said. “She just has trouble accessing that intelligence sometimes.”
Dale purchased a security and therapy dogs after the attack, her lawyer said. “It's been a nightmare for her, and she can't get closure with the criminal case dragging on for so long,” Smith said.
Former Washington safety Curtis Jordan played 11 seasons in the NFL. Jordan’s former girlfriend claims the beating exacerbated a previous brain injury, leaving her with no chance of returning to her surgical career.