The woman who was allegedly savagely beaten by former NFL offensive lineman Chad Wheeler begged a judge to keep the defendant in jail custody, but the judge allowed Wheeler’s conditional release.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, Wheeler allegedly attacked his girlfriend at their shared apartment in Kent, Washington, on January 25, after demanding that she “bow” to him. The victim told police that Wheeler strangled and smothered her to the point of unconsciousness multiple times, and that she thought she was dead at one point.
Wheeler, who most recently played for the Seattle Seahawks before resigning from the NFL last week, was released on Tuesday on $400,000 bail, and appeared in court for his arraignment on Monday.
Wheeler pleaded not guilty to the three charges against him: First-degree domestic violence assault, felony domestic violence-unlawful imprisonment, and resisting arrest. His lawyers asked the judge that he be permitted to await trial at his home in Hawaii, which the judge denied, while also denying the victim’s request that he be kept behind bars.
“As you consider Chad’s custody status, I want you to know that I believe that as long as he is out of custody, I am not safe,” she read from a written statement shared by the King County prosecuting attorney’s office. The statement described the violent attack, claiming that Wheeler believed he had killed the victim but did not call police, and argued that Wheeler poses an immediate danger to her.
“Now, Chad is out of custody staying in a hotel watching this play out on social media. This current status places my safety at risk, and I do not believe that a protective order or a condition of release is sufficient to keep me safe.”
The victim further asked that if the Wheeler is released, that he stay with family in Los Angeles under close monitoring.
The judge ruled that Wheeler would be released with a GPS ankle monitor to home detention, and is required to stay within King, Pierce and Snohomish counties.
Prosecutors noted in charging documents filed last week that strangulation domestic violence is a “very serious indication of potential lethality.”
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