NFL files motion to dismiss protective order in Hardy case, examine evidence

NFL files motion to dismiss protective order in Hardy case, examine evidence

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - The National Football League filed a motion Friday to dissolve a protective order in the Greg Hardy case as it seeks to determine his future status with the league.

Hardy was accused of assaulting his then-girlfriend, Nicole Holder, inside his uptown Charlotte condo in May 2014.

The case went to a bench trial in July 2014, where Hardy was convicted of assault on a female and communicating threats.

In the trial, evidence was presented to District Court Judge Rebecca Thorne Tin, including photographs and other documents

During the trial, Holder took the stand, saying Hardy attacked her multiple times, threw her on a stash of guns and threatened to kill her. Holder previously told investigators that Hardy dragged her across the floor into the bedroom, where he choked her with both hands.

Hardy claimed he was the one attack by Holder, saying she refused to leave his apartment. In a recorded 911 call, Hardy is heard asking for help to remove her from his home.

Hardy appealed the conviction and asked for a jury trial. In North Carolina, defendants convicted in District Court have a right to a jury trial in Superior Court.

That trial was slated to begin Monday, but the state asked for the charges to be dismissed after Holder didn't make herself available for the trial. She was not able to be located in order to serve, court officials said.

District Attorney Andrew Murray told the judge his office went through "great lengths" to track Nicole Holder down. When she didn't show up for court Monday, Murray says it appears she intentionally made herself unavailable to the State.

The state could have continued the trial without Holder, but case would have been much weaker. There were inconsistencies that troubled first judge in the July bench trial.

The State said it had reliable information that Holder reached a settlement before the trial began. The judge granted the prosecutor's request for a dismissal on the assault on a female and communicating threats charges.

Friday, the NFL filed a motion requesting access to the evidence that was shown to the judge during the trial in July and was later sealed as "trial preparatory materials."

The motion argues that since the charges were dismissed earlier this week, the evidence can no longer be classified as trial preps. It also claims that the reasons for "holding the exhibits under seal is now moot."

The NFL has asked for permission to "inspect, examine and/or copy the exhibits that were introduced at the trial." If the motion is denied, the NFL is asking for a hearing.

The motion also asks the court to dissolve the protective order, which protected the evidence as sealed documentation.

The motion was served to District Attorney Andrew Murray, Hardy's attorney Chris Fialko and the Clerk of Superior Court in Mecklenburg County.

Earlier this week, officials with the Carolina Panthers said they were "aware of the decision by the district attorney's office to dismiss charges against Greg Hardy. Greg remains on the Commissioner's Exempt List and the NFL has advised us to allow it to complete its review under the Personal Conduct Policy. There is no change in his status at this time."

League officials told WBTV Monday afternoon Hardy's status with the league "remains unchanged until we fully review the matter."

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