Former Rocket Jordan Hill may be on his way back to Houston, but only for a quick criminal arraignment. Hill was charged with felony assault of a family member by strangulation this week, months after the alleged incident involving a long-term girlfriend occurred. Yahoo! Sports reports that the incident occurred on February 29. The police report was filed with the Houston Police Department on March 29.
Hill was traded from Houston to Los Angeles on March 15.
ABC 13 Houston reports that the incident stemmed from an argument about the future of Hill and his girlfriend. The victim alleged that she threw his cell phone to the floor. Hill allegedly became enraged, assaulted her, and then placed her in a chokehold when she refused to pick up the phone.
Hill's girlfriend then flew home to Miami. Her friend, who picked her up from the airport, noticed the bruises and took photos. The police have since obtained those photos.
Jordan Hill could be charged with Intimate Partner Strangulation. In Texas, this crime was elevated to a felony from a misdemeanor in 2009. It is defined as "intentionally, knowingly or recklessly impeding the normal breathing or circulation of the blood of the person by applying pressure to the person's throat or neck or by blocking the person's nose or mouth."
If Hill is convicted, he faces between 2 and 10 years of incarceration, plus fines and fees. However, it is also quite possible that a plea bargain could be reached, in which case he would face far less severe penalties.
Meanwhile, those in a similar position to Hill's girlfriend (now ex-girlfriend?) should consider a protective order. Protective orders are available to those who are married, or even to those who are or were dating. Dating Violence is defined by the Texas Family Code Section 71.0021 as:
"Dating violence" means an act by an individual that is against another individual with whom that person has or has had a dating relationship and that is intended to result in physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or sexual assault or that is a threat that reasonably places the individual in fear of imminent physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or sexual assault, but does not include defensive measures to protect oneself.
The Lakers, meanwhile, have declined to comment on the matter. Hill will have to travel to Houston to be arraigned after a warrant is issued and may well have the remainder of the proceedings delayed until after the conclusion of the season.
- Find a Houston Family Law Attorney (FindLaw)
- Domestic Violence (FindLaw's Learn About the Law)
- Houston Chef Sylvia Casares Shooting Arrest Made (FindLaw's Houston Family Law Blog)
- Lakers Big Man Jordan Hill Charged With Felony Assault in TX (FindLaw's Los Angeles Criminal Law Blog)
- Lakers' Jordan Hill Charged with Choking Girlfriend (FindLaw's Tarnished Twenty Sports Law Blog)