SANTA CLARA, Calif. — San Francisco 49ers linebacker Reuben Foster‘s plea hearing was pushed back to May 8 on Monday morning after the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s office requested more time to review potential video evidence.
Last week, Elissa Ennis, Foster’s former girlfriend, recanted domestic violence allegations against Foster and said she had video of herself in an altercation with another woman; Ennis said in a statement that she sustained her injuries, which resulted in a hospital visit, during that altercation. That video has been given to the district attorney’s office.
Foster initially had a plea hearing set for Monday morning, but that was pushed back because Santa Clara prosecutor Jim Demertzis wanted more time to review that video before proceeding.
“Additional evidence was provided to the People that warrants further investigation so that we can take this case to a just result,” Demertzis told reporters. “There was a video submitted to the People. Out of respect for Mr. Foster’s due process rights and for the integrity of the ongoing investigation, it would be inappropriate to comment on the evidence other than in the courtroom.”
Monday’s hearing did bring the official dismissal of a misdemeanor charge against Foster for possession of a large-capacity ammunition magazine. That was expected after the district attorney’s office released a statement on April 16 indicating that the charge was not prosecutable because of a federal injunction.
Foster is still facing charges for domestic violence, forcefully attempting to prevent a victim from reporting a crime and possessing an assault weapon, all of which are classified as felonies.
Those charges were filed on April 12. The district attorney’s initial accounting of the events of Feb. 11 alleged that Foster dragged her by her hair, punched her in the head eight to 10 times and physically removed her from the house. From there, the district attorney’s office said, Ennis flagged down a passing car outside a Los Gatos home. Ennis’ injuries included a ruptured eardrum, which required a visit to the hospital.
After Ennis’ attempts to recant her initial statements, the district attorney’s office suspected that it was possible she would not cooperate with the case, but told reporters at Foster’s arraignment that the case against Foster would still be pursued. Ennis’ attorney, Stephanie Rickard, attended Monday’s hearing after releasing a statement on Wednesday recanting the allegations against Foster.
In that statement, Ennis said via Rickard that Foster did not strike, injure or threaten Ennis and that Foster had attempted to end his relationship with Ennis after learning of her fight with another woman.
“She was extremely upset and told him if he broke up with her, she would ‘trash his career,'” Rickard said.
Rickard said that when Ennis realized what she had done, she went back to the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s office in an effort to recant her original statements blaming Foster for her injuries.
Before Foster’s next plea hearing, he has another court date set for Wednesday in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. That is related to a Jan. 12 arrest for second-degree marijuana possession.