Ex-Vikings CB A.J. Jefferson charged with assault
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — A.J. Jefferson, who was
released by the Minneota Vikings on Monday after a morning arrest, was charged
Wednesday with one count of felony domestic assault by strangulation.
The Hennepin County attorney’s office charged Jefferson, 25,
after he was arrested at his Eden Prairie residence on Monday for probable
cause domestic assault against his girlfriend of three years, according to a
statement released by the county on Wednesday.
“We are saddened at the continuing inability of men to
get this simple message: Don’t hit, strangle, slap or in any other way assault
your wife or girlfriend,” Hennepin County attorney Mike Freeman said in
the statement. “It is wrong morally and criminally, and we will prosecute
you, as we do hundreds of men every year.”
According to the criminal complaint, Jefferson — listed on
court records by his given name, Anthony Ray Jefferson — had grabbed his
girlfriend, reported to be a 23-year-old woman, around the throat after she had
not responded to text messages. The statement released Wednesday said that
Jefferson and his girlfriend had an argument in their home Sunday evening.
Jefferson had played one defensive snap in Minnesota’s 26-26 tie at Green Bay
on Sunday before leaving with a neck injury.
The statement said Jefferson left the residence and his
girlfriend had went to bed, and she awoke to Jefferson “yelling at her for
ignoring his text messages to her and he grabbed her around her throat,”
according to the complaint.
Jefferson was jailed at 6:57 a.m. on Monday and is still in
custody on $40,000 bail.
Jefferson, acquired by the Vikings in a 2012 preseason
trade, was released Monday.
“I can’t really comment on his release or what happens
from this point on regarding him,” Frazier said Monday.
Jefferson is the second of three Vikings’ player to be
arrested since Nov. 9 when receiver Jerome Simpson was arrested and later
charged with third-degree DWI for refusal to submit to a chemical test, a gross
misdemeanor, and fourth-degree DWI for operating a motor vehicle under the
influence of alcohol, a misdemeanor. Starting middle linebacker Erin Henderson
was arrested on Nov. 19 for probable cause DWI and possession of a controlled
substance, according to an Eden Prairie Police statement.
“The fact that we have had three recent off field
situations is unacceptable and disappointing,” general manager Rick
Spielman said in a statement released by the team. “Our organization looks
at each situation and the circumstances involved to determine our actions with
those players and how to best move forward.
“The Vikings have a comprehensive approach with our
player development program and excellent resources that are a part of this
organization, but certainly we will take a methodical look at how we can
improve upon our current programs to prevent these situations in the
Minnesota’s Chris Cook was arrested Oct. 22, 2011 and later charged with felony
charges of domestic abuse/strangulation. He was suspended by the team, but
reinstated less than two weeks later. He missed the season’s final 10 games
though after the team told him to stay away from the team facilities while
going through the legal process. He was later acquitted.
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