Leroy Hill made his second appearance in Issaquah municipal court this morning. Hill’s court appearance is in regards to a domestic dispute that allegedly occurred between the Seattle Seahawks’ linebacker and his live-in girlfriend at his Issaquah home in April.
Hill faces a misdemeanor charge of assault for his role in that incident that took place on April 10th.
Today’s hearing was another step in the process as prosecutors there work to determine if they have enough evidence to move forward with a trial.
Attorney Lynn Moberly is the prosecutor for the city of Issaquah and a former King County prosecutor who specializes in domestic-violence cases. She believes the city has enough evidence to move forward with a trial.
“I think so, yes,” she said.
Another pretrial hearing will be conducted on July 14, and then ultimately a readiness hearing will be held on July 23 in which prosecutors will have to decide whether they have enough evidence to ask for a trial date. If that occurs, a trial likely would begin the following week.
Brian Fortner, solicitor-general for Douglas County, Ga., indicated in May that if prosecutors in Issaquah move forward with their case against Hill, he will likely file a motion to revoke Hill’s probation, which would include a hearing that would require Hill’s presence in court in Douglas County.
The incident is Hill’s second run-in with the law in just over a year. The April incident occurred just 10 days after Hill received a sentence of 12 months probation for misdemeanor drug possession for a Jan. 24, 2009 incident in which he was found asleep at the wheel by police in suburban Atlanta with marijuana in his car.
Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider have directed Hill to stay away from the team’s headquarters as he resolves his legal issues, and they await word from the league on how they will handle the situation.
According to a league spokesperson, Hill’s case remains under review. But Carroll admitted this week that the practice reps Hill is missing may prove costly.
“If that didn’t matter, then why would you practice,” Carroll said. “Practice is hugely important. There’s a new system. There’s a whole new approach to how we’re doing things. And it’s certainly hindered his opportunity. Without question the other guys have rocketed ahead with their chances and taken advantage of that.
“That’s just part of the competition. You do what you can with your opportunities. So he’s going to have to battle back if we can get him back out there.”
With Hill out, David Hawthorne has been working at weak-side, outside linebacker. Linebackers coach Ken Norton Jr. has indicated that he’s pleased so far with Hawthorne’s performance, and considers Hawthorne a starter.
According to reports, Hill’s $6 million base salary for the upcoming is guaranteed. And Hill has a clause in his contract that protects his salary if he is suspended by the league for the incident that occurred a year ago in Georgia. However, if Hill earns additional time on a potential suspension for his second incident in Issaquah, that could affect his contract status, with the possibility of the team seeking to void Hill’s contract.
The Seahawks appear to be keeping Hill away to avoid the possibility of the 27-year-old suffering a season-ending injury during off-season workouts, which could result in the team being on the hook for Hill’s $6 million salary.