The Day

Texas prosecutor drops domestic violence case against Chris Beard


A Texas prosecutor on Wednesday moved to dismiss a felony domestic violence case against former Texas basketball coach Chris Beard, in part because of the alleged victim's wishes not to prosecute.

Travis County District Attorney Jose Garza said that "after a careful and thorough review of the evidence" and considerin­g the wishes of Randi Trew, Beard's fiancée, his office determined the charge of assault by strangulat­ion/ suffocatio­n-family violence could not be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

Beard was arrested Dec. 12 after Trew called 911 and told officers that Beard strangled, bit and hit her during a confrontat­ion in his home. She later said Beard didn't choke her, and that he defended himself from her. She added that she never intended him to be arrested and prosecuted.

"Everyone knows that Coach Beard has maintained his absolute innocence since the moment he was arrested," said Perry Minton, Beard's attorney. "Additional­ly, this district attorney has a wellearned reputation for being very tough regarding domestic violence cases. The fact that Mr. Garza's review resulted in this determinat­ion so quickly says a lot. We are very pleased."

The Associated Press does not typically identify alleged victims of sexual abuse or domestic violence, but Trew issued a public statement on Dec. 23 about Beard's arrest and their fight that night, disputing several elements of the initial police account.

The third-degree felony charge carried a potential sentence of up to 10 years in prison if prosecutor­s had pressed the case to conviction.

"Our office takes all domestic abuse cases seriously to ensure justice for the victims," Garza said.

"In every case, we are obligated to evaluate the facts and evidence and do our best to reach an outcome that will keep the victim and our community safe."

According to the police affidavit in support of Beard's arrest, Trew initially told officers he strangled her from behind to the point where she couldn't breathe for several seconds. The affidavit listed several visible signs of an altercatio­n, including bite marks on her arm and abrasions on her face and leg.

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