Prosecutors in Texas said on Wednesday that they planned to dismiss a domestic violence case against Chris Beard, the former head coach of the University of Texas men’s basketball team, after reviewing evidence and considering the wishes of his fiancée.
Beard, 49, was arrested on Dec. 12 in Austin and charged with assault on a member of a family or household by impeding breath circulation. He was suspended without pay that day and fired on Jan. 5.
On Wednesday, the Travis County District Attorney’s Office said in a statement that after considering the wishes of Beard’s fiancée, Randi Trew, who was involved in the altercation that led to the arrest, prosecutors had “determined that the felony offense cannot be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.” The office filed a motion to dismiss the case on Wednesday.
Trew has said through her lawyer since Beard’s arrest that he did not strangle her.
“Our office takes all domestic abuse cases seriously to ensure justice for the victims,” José Garza, the district attorney in Travis County, said in a statement. “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.”
Perry Minton, a lawyer for Beard, said in a statement that “everyone knows that Coach Beard has maintained his absolute innocence since the moment he was arrested.”
“Additionally, this district attorney has a well-earned reputation for being very tough regarding domestic violence cases,” Minton said. “The fact that Mr. Garza’s review resulted in this determination so quickly — says a lot. We are very pleased.”
A few days after Beard was arrested, Trew said in a statement through her lawyer that while they had engaged in a “physical struggle” after she broke his glasses in “frustration,” Beard did not strangle her.
“I do not believe Chris was trying to intentionally harm me in any way,” she said at the time. “It was never my intent to have him arrested or prosecuted.”
The Austin Police Department said in December that officers responded to a call about a disturbance at a home in Austin at about 12:15 a.m. on Dec. 12. When the police arrived at the house, a woman told them that Beard had assaulted and choked her.
The University of Texas did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment on Wednesday.
Rodney Terry, the team’s associate head coach, has been serving as acting head coach of the Texas Longhorns men’s basketball team since Beard was suspended. The university has said that Terry would finish the season as the team’s interim head coach.
Beard was named coach of the Texas Longhorns in April 2021 after five seasons as the head coach of the men’s basketball team at Texas Tech, which he led to the N.C.A.A. national championship game in 2019.
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