Tyreek Hill, Crystal Espinal Criminal Child Abuse Case Reopened After Audio Leak

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistApril 26, 2019

Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill talks to the media after a workout Friday, Jan. 18, 2019, in Kansas City, Mo. The Chiefs host the New England Patriots in the NFL 's AFC football championship game on Sunday. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
Charlie Riedel/Associated Press

The Johnson County district attorney's office has reopened the criminal case against Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill and Crystal Espinal, his fiancee.

Angie Ricono of KCTV5 reported the news following the release of audio that featured Hill and Espinal discussing their son's broken arm.

Per NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, Chiefs head coach Andy Reid confirmed the case was being reopened.

In the audio released Thursday by KCTV5, Espinal is heard telling Hill their son is "terrified of" him. Hill responded by saying Espinal should "be terrified of me, too, b---h."

The Athletic's Nate Taylor relayed another exchange from the recording in which Espinal said she was told by their son that Hill broke his arm:

Espinal also said in the recording that Hill punches their son in the chest when he cries, per Taylor.

Johnson County District Attorney Stephen Howe told reporters Wednesday no charges would be filed against Hill or Espinal because his office was unable to determine who committed a crime against the three-year-old following two separate police investigations into alleged child abuse or neglect on March 5 and 14:

"We believe that a crime has occurred. However, the evidence in this case does not conclusively establish who committed this crime. Criminal cases must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt by admissible evidence, not speculation, rumors or hearsay. Despite this decision there will be continued involvement by state officials to ensure the safety of the child. Those actions are separate and apart from our decision on criminal charges."

Howe noted the child was safe but did not specifying if he had been removed from the custody of Hill and Espinal. Howe also said the case could always be reopened if any new evidence came to light within the five-year statute of limitations. Ricono reported the child is "currently living with a family he is familiar with, but they are not relatives," and that Espinal is allowed supervised visits with her son.

The Chiefs announced Friday that Hill had been banned from all team activities.

In addition to the legal case, the Chiefs wideout also faces a possible suspension from the NFL under its personal conduct policy.

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