BALTIMORE (WJZ) — One day after Ray Rice is indicted on aggravated assault charges for allegedly punching and knocking out his girlfriend, the couple ties the knot.
Monique Griego explains what this means for their domestic violence case.
Because the wedding is coming in the middle of the couple’s domestic violence issues, some may think it’s a legal maneuver. But that might not be the case.
One day after a grand jury indicted Ray Rice for aggravated assault for allegedly punching his fiancee, the Ravens star makes it official. According to ESPN, Rice married Janay Palmer Friday night in a ceremony a few weeks in the making.
While some may think the marriage is a legal maneuver so Palmer can’t testify against the running back, attorney Bryon Warnken, who is not associated with the case, says the nuptials don’t matter.
“Their marital status in New Jersey may not at all influence the logistics of this case because, in fact, she might be a compellable witness,” Warnken said.
In New Jersey, marital privilege does not apply in domestic violence cases where one spouse is the victim. So married or not, the law would require Palmer to testify against Rice if called upon.
TMZ first published the video of Rice dragging a seemingly unconscious Palmer out of an Atlantic City hotel elevator. Police say the two hit each other, but Rice’s blow reportedly knocked Palmer out.
“Certainly, there is more and more legislative opposition to domestic violence,” Warnken said.
The indictment laid down Thursday says the running back “knowingly caused significant bodily injury” to Palmer under circumstances “manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life.”
Charges against Palmer were dropped.
Warnken says more damaging than any testimony in court is video of the actual assault–if it exists.
“You do not need live testimony to establish an assault. If there is a videotape that gets authenticated and the judge lets it in the, the jury could decide the case solely based on that,” said Warnken.
If convicted, Rice faces three to five years in prison. Since his arrest, the team and several Ravens players have come out and shown their support for him.
Rice’s lawyer previously told our media partner, The Baltimore Sun, neither Rice nor Palmer want to go through with the prosecution. He says they have a daughter, are still together and are in counseling.
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