On Monday (Feb. 1), former Seattle Seahawks player Chad Wheeler pleaded not guilty to criminal charges of domestic violence unlawful imprisonment, first-degree domestic violence assault and resisting arrest for allegedly abusing his girlfriend last month.
As a condition of his pretrial release, Wheeler was ordered to remain in Washington on home detention and wear an ankle monitoring device that is GPS-equipped. He was previously ordered to surrender all of his weapons and have no contact with the victim. Judge Tanya Thorp kept his bail at $400,000, which he posted on Jan. 26.
Wheeler’s girlfriend also appeared in court on Monday with her left arm in a sling. A criminal advocate for the prosecutor’s office read a statement on her behalf detailing the events that took place the night she was allegedly attacked by her boyfriend.
She also made it clear that she does not feel safe with him out on bond. “The woman objected to Wheeler’s request that he be allowed to stay at his home in Hawaii — the defense said he does not have a residence in Washington other than the apartment he shared with the woman — and said that Wheeler staying in Los Angeles would be her preference if he is not in jail,” reports ESPN.
The former NFL player was arrested and charged on Jan. 23 after his girlfriend accused him of choking her twice until she became unconscious. After she regained consciousness the second time, Wheeler allegedly said that he was surprised she was still alive.
When police entered the home, they found the woman crying with her face covered in blood. They could also see fingerprints on both sides of her neck. Medical scans showed that she suffered from a number of injuries, including a fractured humerus and dislocated elbow.
On Jan. 27, the Seattle Seahawks released a statement addressing the abuse allegations on Twitter through their PR Twitter account. “The Seahawks are saddened by the details emerging against Chad Wheeler and strongly condemn this act of domestic violence,” the statement read. “Our thoughts and support are with the victim. Chad is a free agent and no longer with the team.”
Wheeler’s next hearing is set for Feb. 11. His trial is scheduled for April 6.