Johnny Manziel’s lawyer Bob Hinton is in hot water after accidentally texting sensitive information about his client to an Associated Press reporter. The Dallas-based attorney meant to send the text to another lawyer, according to the AP.
The AP reporter reached out to Hinton via text for comment on Manziel’s hit-and-run collision that he reported on Monday night in Dallas. After the reporter read the text, he messaged Hinton back and the attorney told him the text was intended for another attorney. He then added the contents of the text were protected by attorney-client privilege and threatened to sue the news organization if certain details were published.
Hinton is representing Manziel in his domestic abuse case stemming from an incident in January when his ex-girlfriend Colleen Crowley accused him of forcing her into a car and assaulting her. He faces a charge of misdemeanor assault.
Here’s what you need to know.
1. Hinton Expressed Doubts About Manziel’s Ability to Stay Drug and Alcohol Free.
Hinton meant to text another attorney about Manziel’s legal situation, but sent it accidentally to an Associated Press reporter. The message expressed doubts about the NFL player’s ability to stay off drugs. It also indicated his legal team was seeking a plea deal from prosecutors in his domestic violence case, but it could be difficult.
“Heaven help us if one of the conditions is to pee in a bottle,” Hinton wrote in the lengthy text.
The Dallas-based attorney also said he received a receipt via email “which purports to reflect” that he made a purchase of $1,018.77 at a Gas Pipe store, which sells drug paraphernalia, at 12:03 a.m. on Tuesday. On Monday, Manziel reported being in a hit-and-run collision in Dallas, close to a Gas Pipe location.
A manager at that store declined to tell the AP if the football player had bought anything, but the store does require I.D. for purchases of more than $200. The receipt did not have Manziel’s name on it, Hinton told the AP when asked after the text message was sent.
I don’t know if the receipt is legitimate or not. I just know that it doesn’t say Johnny’s name on it anywhere that I can see. It’s just that somebody in that store, I guess, circulated that to the other store managers and employees saying, ‘Guess who was here today and spent this amount of money.’ That’s all I know.
2. Hinton Threatened to Sue the Associated Press If It Published Certain Details in the Text.
The AP published at least two quotes from Hinton’s message. When the AP asked him about the text, Manziel’s attorney said the contents of the message were protected by attorney-client privilege. He also threatened to sue if the AP published certain details of the text.
Manziel’s publicist Denise Michaels told the AP in a statement that Hinton “has always only operated on the periphery of this case.” Manziel’s lead counsel is Jim Darnell who has told Michaels that “he would never Johnny plead guilty” in his domestic violence case in Dallas.
3. Manziel Faces a Misdemeanor Assault Charge Stemming from a Complaint Filed by Ex-Girlfriend Colleen Crowley.
Manziel faces a misdemeanor domestic violence charge stemming from an incident in late January when his ex-girlfriend Colleen Crowley accused him of kidnapping, hitting and threatening to kill her, according to The Dallas Morning News. He turned himself in on May 4 to Highland Park police who booked and released him on $1,500 bail.
The next day, the former Heisman Trophy winner appeared before Judge Roberto Cañas in Dallas County Criminal Court and was ordered to have no contact with Crowley for two years. The judge also barred him from possessing any firearms and he had to pay $12,000 in legal fees, according to Yahoo! Sports. If he’s found guilty, Manziel faces up to a year in prison and a $4,000 fine.
Crowley and Manziel had broken up in December 2015 after two years of dating. On the night of January 29, she told police that her ex invited up to his room at Hotel Zaza in Dallas and they got into a fight over another woman. According to Crowley, Manziel slapped her on the head and ruptured her eardrum, causing her to lose her hearing. He then dragged her by her hair and forced her into a car, then drove her to Fort Worth where she lives.
Police did not arrest Manziel at the time. Instead, they asked the district attorney’s office to present the case a grand jury, according to the AP.
The Texas incident came three months after Crowley claimed Manziel struck her several times and told police “I’m in fear for my life,” according to CBS News. The end of their altercation was caught on dash-cam footage when police arrived on the scene where Manziel had pulled his car over to the side of the road.
Manziel is heard explaining what happened. He was not charged and police let the couple go after they could not determine who was the aggressor.
4. Manziel Reported a Hit-and-Run Collision on Monday Night; His Vehicle Was T-Boned and He Said the Other Car Fled the Scene.
Manziel’s car was T-boned on Monday night in Dallas and the other car fled the scene, his publicist Denise Michaels told The Washington Post. She also said her client hit his head but did not suffer a concussion or any other injuries.
5. Robert Hinton Started His Career in the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office.
Hinton is a lawyer based out of Dallas and has practiced law for more than 40 years. According to his firm’s website, he began his career with the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office. He has his own firm as a criminal defense attorney and speaks on legal subjects and issues for legal and educational organizations.
Manziel’s lead counsel, Jim Darnell, was first hired by his client’s parents in 2013 when the NCAA was investigating the former Texas A&M quarterback for getting paid to sign autographs. Darnell is based out of El Paso, Texas and had prior experience in NCAA legal matters.