Former Seattle Seahawks offensive tackle Chad Wheeler was arrested in January on suspicion of felony domestic violence. Six months later, King County has moved back his trial date once again. Following a July 22 update, Wheeler’s trial is now set to begin on Oct. 21.
According to “Seattle Times” reporter Bob Condotta, Thursday’s news marks the third time that King County has moved the trial. The original date was June 1 and then it moved to Aug. 26. Now the trial will move to October. The reason for the shifting, per Condotta, is the case setting hearing moving to Aug. 28. This moved back the omnibus hearing to Sept. 23, which impacted the trial.
The trial will take place at Maleng Regional Justice Center in Kent, Wash. Wheeler will not have to attend the case setting hearing or the omnibus hearing. There is a requirement that Wheeler attends the trial.
Wheeler is alleged to have strangled his girlfriend until she was unconscious. When she regained consciousness, she locked herself in a bathroom while the former offensive tackle allegedly expressed surprise that she was still alive. According to “Pro Football Talk,” the incident left the alleged victim with a concussion and a fractured arm. According to the police report, Wheeler had been on medication for bipolar disorder. However, he had not been taking it before the incident.
Authorities Originally Arrested Wheeler on Jan. 23
A backup offensive tackle for the Seahawks in 2019 and 2020, Wheeler was potentially set to rejoin the team for the 2021 season. However, authorities arrested him in Kent on suspicion of assaulting his girlfriend.
He appeared in court the Monday after his arrest and received orders to not “have contact with the alleged victim and to surrender all weapons.” The judge set Wheeler’s bail at $400,000. The former offensive tackle then appeared in court on Jan. 27 for a probable cause hearing.
Per Condotta, Wheeler faces charges of “first-degree assault domestic violence, a Class A felony, unlawful imprisonment domestic violence, and resisting arrest.” The former Seahawks player pleaded not guilty to the charges in February.
The Seahawks Cut Ties With Wheeler & Issued a Strong Statement
Shortly after his arrest, the Seattle Seahawks waived Wheeler. The team issued a statement condemning his actions while also encouraging the offensive tackle to “get the help he needs” after the charges came to light. Wheeler remains a free agent after his arrest and release by the Seahawks.
“The Seahawks are deeply saddened by the details emerging against Chad Wheeler and strongly condemn this act of domestic violence. Our thoughts and support are with the victim. Chad is a free agent and no longer with the team. If you are experiencing domestic violence, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233, or go to thehotline.org. All calls are toll-free and confidential. The hotline is available 24/7 in more than 170 languages.
“We encourage Chad to get the help he needs. If you are experiencing mental health issues, please reach out for help. For immediate help with a mental health crisis or thoughts of suicide: contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.”