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CHARGERS: Investigators continue probe into Merriman accusations

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by Concudan, Sep 8, 2009.

  1. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    Chargers linebacker due in court day after season opener

    TERI FIGUEROA - tfigueroa@nctimes.com | Posted: Tuesday, September 8, 2009 7:30 pm | No Comments Posted

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    Free on $58,000 bail, Chargers linebacker Shawne Merriman is due in a San Diego courtroom Sept. 15 following his weekend arrest for an alleged attack on television personality Tila Tequila.

    But the future of the case against Merriman hinges on what the investigation turns up, as well as whether prosecutors believe they can prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a crime took place.

    "The fact that there was an arrest doesn't mean that there is going to be a criminal prosecution," Prof. David Steinberg with the Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego said Tuesday. "This is a classic 'he said, she said' case, and it is ultimately going to come down to credibility."

    As of Tuesday, investigators from the San Diego Sheriff's Department were still sorting out the allegations made by the alleged victim, whose real name is Tila Nguyen.

    San Diego Sheriff's Department officials said Nguyen said the 6-foot-4, 265-pound Merriman choked and restrained her, throwing her to the ground as she tried to leave his Poway home early Sunday morning.

    Nguyen, who is 4 feet, 11 inches and weighs 93 pounds, signed a citizen's arrest. Deputies questioned Merriman at the Poway station, then took him into custody on suspicion of false imprisonment and battery. Merriman, 25, was out of jail on bail within a few hours of his arrest.

    Merriman released a statement saying that he was trying to prevent Nguyen from driving while intoxicated, but did not harm the 27-year-old star of MTV's "Shot of Love with Tila Tequila."

    Just how he tried to prevent her from leaving may become key, the professor said.

    "You can use lawful force, like taking car keys, but you cannot use unreasonable force" to restrain a person, Steinberg said.

    No criminal charges have been filed against the three-time Pro Bowl player because investigators had not yet presented the case to prosecutors, sheriff's department spokeswoman Jan Caldwell said.

    According to court officials, Merriman is due in a San Diego courtroom at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, the day after the Chargers' season opener against the Oakland Raiders.

    And until that time, prosecutors have a number of options, from filing criminal charges to declining to prosecute. They may also postpone filing any charges, pending further investigation.

    Steinberg said he suspects prosecutors may choose to criminally charge Merriman.

    "If the police did not have probable cause, they would not have arrested him," Steinberg said. "Somebody may sign a citizen's arrest warrant, but that does not compel the police to make the arrest. Police have discretion."

    But, he said, credibility will play a big role.

    "This comes down to a question of fact," Steinberg said. "Whether she was drunk only makes a difference as to whether you believe her or not. It goes to her credibility.

    "You are dealing with a victim who has sought out publicity in the past. That doesn't mean she is not a victim; she may well be."

    Contact staff writer Teri Figueroa at 760-740-5442.
     
  2. Sydalish

    Sydalish Addicted to Sports

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    I thought in California they had to arrest someone if there was a citizen's arrest? That's what has been said anyway.
     
  3. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    Ant?!
     
  4. auctoritas

    auctoritas BoltTalker

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    For a domestic violence allegation they do. The statement in the article is incorrect.
     
  5. bigmike.x.09

    bigmike.x.09 Well-Known Member

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    My roommate said he met her at a club once, I asked him if she drinks and he flat out went "PFFFT! Tila Tequila? Hellllll yeah she drinks!"
     
  6. matilack

    matilack Take A Knee McCree!!!

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