San Francisco 49ers linebacker Reuben Foster was back in court Tuesday, where he formally entered not guilty pleas to the three felony charges. A preliminary hearing has been set for May 17th, with a potential trial developing from there. There is also an evidentiary hearing this Friday that could end up cancelled if certain evidence is provided before then.
Foster did not choose to “waive time,” according to Robert Salonga. If a defendant “waives time,” it can result in a lengthier process. By not waiving time, Foster’s attorney is putting pressure on the prosecution to potentially present their case before they are completely comfortable with it — particularly in light of the accuser recanting her statement.
Foster was arrested in February on suspicion of domestic violence. He was formally charged last month with felony domestic violence, forcefully attempting to prevent a victim from reporting a crime, and felony possession of an assault weapon. A week after the charges were filed, the accuser recanted the statement she gave police. She claimed to have a video showing the injuries happening in a fight with another woman prior to her interaction with Foster.
The DA’s office has had the video in question for at least a couple weeks at this point. The prosecutor and Foster’s attorney met prior to Tuesday’s hearing, but there is no indication of working toward any sort of plea deal or dropping of charges. Matt Barrows got a copy of the police report from the night in question, and it mentions two potential witnesses: a house guest and the motorist who picked up the alleged victim following the incident. The DA has not offered comment on any of that, and did not speak to the media following Tuesday’s hearing.
Foster remains away from the 49ers while the legal process plays out. John Lynch has said Foster would not be part of the organization if the charges bear out during the legal process. Given the decision to not waive time, we could see resolution to this relatively quickly.