Linebacker Ahmad Brooks Will Not Be Charged in Assault on Teammate Lamar Divens

Matt Fitzgerald@@MattFitz_geraldCorrespondent IIIJuly 3, 2013

San Francisco 49ers linebacker Ahmad Brooks allegedly had a warrant out for his arrest on assault charges following an incident with teammate Lamar Divens, but Brooks reportedly is off the hook. 


UPDATE: Thursday, July 18, at 6:50 p.m. ET by Ian Hanford

CSN Bay Area's Matt Maiocco reports on Brooks' situation from the 49ers' perspective:

"The 49ers organization is aware that the District Attorney of Santa Clara County has closed this matter," the 49ers said in a statement. "As an organization, we look forward to moving on from this situation and will have no further comment."

He also divulged this detail:

In the memo released Thursday, Sinunu-Towery reported that on June 10, Divens asked Brooks for $1 million. Brooks rejected that request. On June 11, Divens told lawa enforcement he was trying to "work out the issue internally." Two days later, he told an investigator he did not want to go forward with with the case, saying it would be bad for both of their football careers. Divens also reiterated to the DA's office that he wanted Brooks to pay him $1 million, according to the memo.

"As you well know, I do not condone the behavior of Brooks on June 8, 2013," Sinunu-Towery wrote in the memo. "However, based on the law as applied to the above facts discovered in this investigation, I will dismiss the felony complaint, which was filed prematurely. The totality of the circumstances demonstrates that the charge cannot be proven beyond a reasonable doubt to twelve jurors."

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UPDATE: Thursday, July 18, at 5:55 p.m. ET by Ian Hanford

Sacramento Bee reporter Matt Barrows provides the latest on Brooks:

---End of update---


UPDATE: Thursday, July 4, at 10:50 a.m. ET by Sam Westmoreland

Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk has the latest news surrounding Brooks' incident:

Per multiple reports, Okoye and fellow undrafted rookie Michael Purcell witnessed linebacker Ahmad Brooks  repeatedly (allegedly) bash teammate Lamar Divens in the head with a beer bottle on June 8.

As to the three guys in the quartet who didn’t sign a multi-million-dollar contract in 2012, the dilemma is clear.  At a time when they’re trying to make the cut from 90 to 53, causing problems for the team could cause problems for them.

That’s likely why Divens, a practice-squad player in 2012, decided that pressing charges “would be bad for both of their careers.”  Bad for Brooks, because he’d be facing discipline from the team and the league.  Bad for Divens, because there are plenty of other guys who can do what he does — guys who haven’t helped make a mess for the organization.

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UPDATE: Wednesday, July 3, at 5:51 p.m. ET by Ian Hanford's Gregg Rosenthal has the latest on Brooks:

A warrant for the arrest of San Francisco 49ers linebacker Ahmad Brooks was filed in error, Santa Clara County Assistant District Attorney Karyn Sinunu-Towery told on Wednesday.

"It was a complete fumble on our part," she said.

---End of update---


UPDATE: Wednesday, July 3, at 2:36 p.m. ET by Matt Connolly 

The arrest warrant has been put on hold, according to Tracey Kaplan of the San Jose Mercury News:

At the time, Divens said he wanted to press charges, but he has since changed his mind, according to the warrant application. The alleged attack was also witnessed by two other unidentified team members, one of whom gave a recorded statement to police.

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---Original text---
Kaplan reports that the Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office is debating whether to charge Brooks with a felony, a misdemeanor, or if it wants to charge the linebacker at all.

Such a case is referred to as a "wobbler," according to Kaplan's sources.

Matt Barrows of The Sacramento Bee spoke to Assistant District Attorney Karyn Sinunu-Towery about the status of the case: 

"The case is not done," said assistant district attorney Karyn Sinunu-Towery on Wednesday. "And that's where we are."

Sinunu-Towery said a preliminary investigation was made following an incident between Brooks and teammate Lamar Divens on June 8. She said there was conflict in the District Attorney's office over whether an arrest warrant should be issued—Divens decided not to press charges—and it was determined that additional information was needed.

Some of that additional information, including medical statements, remained outstanding when the complaint against Brooks was sent to a judge last week. Sinunu-Towery said "an internal error" in the district attorney's office caused the case to be filed prematurely with the court.

Prosecutors who regularly handle assault and battery cases, though, filed an application for an arrest warrant on Thursday, citing a charge of felony assault with great bodily harm.

Kaplan outlines the specifics of the situation that led to the confrontation:

According to the application for Brooks' arrest, the incident unfolded after Brooks, Divens and other 49er players spent the evening of June 7 at different players' houses. Eventually they decided to go to downtown San Jose and keep drinking.

The unidentified witness said Brooks was too intoxicated to drive home, so Divens drove. When they got to Brooks' house about 2 a.m. on June 8, Brooks asked for his keys. Divens pretended to chuck them onto the grass and then started to hand them to him.

Brooks then allegedly clocked Divens in the head with a beer bottle. Brooks allegedly began cursing and then struck him in the head again. Brooks allegedly asked Divens, "Do I need to get my (expletive deleted) gun?" and struck him again. Prosecutors also allege in the warrant that Brooks punched Divens.

The attack required Divens to get three stitches, and he initially wanted to press charges. However, the warrant application states that he has since changed his mind. When a San Jose police sergeant called Divens three days after the incident occurred, he said he wanted to drop it.

Two other teammates bore witness to Brooks' actions, according to Kaplan, and one of them was cited in the police report.

If the prosecutors' initial charge were to hold up and Brooks were convicted, it would carry a maximum sentence of four years in prison.

Brooks signed a massive contract extension to the tune of six years and $44.5 million in 2012, $17.5 million of which is guaranteed. The 29-year-old's future may be in jeopardy, though, if District Attorney Jeff Rosen decides to proceed with the case.

There has been a history of off-field issues for Brooks that Kaplan covers. In 2008, Brooks was accused of punching a woman in the face, but accepted mediation on the charges.

He was kicked off the University of Virginia football team in 2005 for an unspecified incident outside the lines and also has a misdemeanor marijuana possession charge on his record.

The 49ers are rather deep at linebacker with the likes of 2012 All-Pros Patrick Willis, NaVorro Bowman and Aldon Smith.

However, Brooks is still a key part to the team and broke up a critical pass that helped San Francisco to the Super Bowl in a 28-24 road victory over the Atlanta Falcons in the NFC Championship Game.