Monday, May 17, 2010
Seahawks waiting for NFL's Hill decision
RENTON, Wash. -- The Seahawks are continuing to keep Leroy Hill at home while they wait for the NFL to possibly discipline their dynamic linebacker.
Authorities may act first.
Brian Fortner, the solicitor-general for Douglas County, Ga., said Monday it was "shocking and disappointing" that Hill was arrested in suburban Seattle last month for investigation of domestic violence 10 days after he received a plea agreement in Georgia on a marijuana charge.
Fortner said his office will talk in the next few days with the prosecutor in Issaquah, Wash., to learn if she is going to pursue the domestic-violence case. Fortner will then decide whether to file a motion to revoke the 12 months of probation Hill got on April 1 stemming from a January 2009 traffic stop in suburban Atlanta.
If he does, Fortner said a judge in Georgia could issue a warrant for Hill's arrest.
Hill, 27, has pleaded not guilty to the domestic-violence charge. He has a court hearing in Issaquah scheduled for Wednesday morning.
"If I had to say right now, we'd lean toward taking steps to revoke his probation," Fortner told The Associated Press in a call from Georgia.
The Seahawks kept their four-year starter at outside linebacker home again for Monday's latest organized team activity.
Hill hasn't practiced since he was arrested by Issaquah police and booked into that city's jail on April 11 for investigation of assault in the fourth degree/domestic violence in an incident involving his girlfriend. Hill posted bail and was released.
Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said after Monday's practice that the team doesn't know when the league might rule on Hill's playing status for 2010.
"We're waiting for word from the league office ... they are not able to tell us when that is going to come," Carroll said.
The league may or may not be waiting for prosecutors in Georgia and Washington state before it acts under the commissioner's personal conduct policy for players.
Last year, while the league reviewed Hill's arrest on the marijuana charge, NFL spokesman Greg Aiello wrote in an e-mail to the AP, "we can take action prior to disposition in some circumstances."
Asked if he expected Hill to be on the team this season, Carroll said: "I'm hoping he will be."
A copy of the Issaquah police report states both Hill's girlfriend and Hill called the police over the alleged domestic violence.
The girlfriend told police Hill pulled her down stairs by her ponytail in the home they apparently share. She said Hill left visible scratch marks on her arm, photos of which were noted to have been included in the partially redacted police report.
Hill told police he was sleeping when his girlfriend searched listings in his phone "and that she found out he was seeing other girls." Hill reported there was "nothing physical" that took place between him and his girlfriend in the incident.
As part of his plea in Georgia, Hill agreed to complete an outpatient drug and alcohol abuse counseling program and 30 hours of community service. Hill must also pay fines in Georgia totaling $500. He is subject to random drug testing. If he completes all the requirements in 12 months, he can petition the court to have the conviction erased from his record under the jurisdiction's conditional discharge program.
"You'd think somebody who had just received a reasonable probation term would be guarded in his actions," Fortner said. "These are people who are in good position to make something constructive out of the situation. But you can't do it for them. Very disappointing."
Seahawks linebacker Lofa Tatupu said he's been talking to and exchanging text messages with Hill as recently as last week.
"Right now, I just hope everything goes well with him," Tatupu said. "My thoughts and prayers are with him. I hope everything takes care of itself. He's a great guy. We miss him."
Even on the practice field in May, the Seahawks miss Hill's play-making ability.
"I mean, a guy who can do everything, you know? There's not one thing that he can't do," Tatupu said.
Asked if he expected Hill on the team this season, Tatupu said: "Hope so. Love to have him back. But right now, I just hope everything is getting taken care of and that he'll be OK."