San Francisco 49ers

Hearing for the 49ers' Reuben Foster delayed while prosecutors review video evidence

49ers GM Lynch says team will await ‘ongoing legal process’ with Foster

San Francisco 49ers general manager John Lynch says that the team will respect the legal process and await the investigation into an alleged domestic violence dispute by Reuben Foster,during a press conference Monday, April 23, 2018.
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San Francisco 49ers general manager John Lynch says that the team will respect the legal process and await the investigation into an alleged domestic violence dispute by Reuben Foster,during a press conference Monday, April 23, 2018.

Reuben Foster's plea hearing on Monday was delayed until May 8 so prosecutors can continue to review a key piece of evidence, a video that purportedly shows his girlfriend fighting with a woman on a street less than 48 hours before the 49ers linebacker was arrested in February.

Meanwhile, Superior Court Judge Nona Klippen on Monday dismissed a misdemeanor ammunition charge against Foster for the high-capacity magazine police found in his Los Gatos home on Feb. 11. That move was expected. A law banning the magazine in California is currently blocked by a federal court injunction.

Foster, 24, still faces charges of domestic violence with an allegation that he inflicted great bodily injury, forcefully attempted to prevent a victim from reporting a crime and possessed an assault weapon – all felonies. The charge of preventing a victim from reporting a crime often is applied when someone removes or damages someone's cellphone to prevent them from calling police.

Foster was in court Monday. He rose from the front row when his case was called but did not speak, then left without speaking to the media.

His case seemed to take a major turn earlier this month when the alleged victim, who identified herself as Elissa Ennis, 28, said she initially lied to police and that the bruises and ruptured eardrum she suffered weren't caused by Foster, but came from a fight with a woman.

A video that shows a portion of a fight involving two women was given to the Santa Clara County district attorney's office last week and prosecutors continue to examine it.

The video is believed to show Ennis, following a road rage-type incident in or near San Francisco, fighting with a woman. Blows are exchanged in the video and the unidentified woman appears to grab Ennis' left ear, the one that was ruptured.

The district attorney's office did not comment specifically on the video Monday. Prosecutors have known for months that Ennis wants to recant her initial statement to police, but the video is new.

"Additional evidence was provided to the people, which warrants further investigation so we can take this case to a just result," said Jim Demertzis, head of the district attorney's office's family violence unit. "There was a video that was submitted to the people. Out of respect for Mr. Foster's due process rights and to the integrity of the ongoing investigation, it would be inappropriate to comment on the evidence other than in the court."

Prospectors have said up until now that they continue to move forward with the case despite Ennis' recantation.

Said Demertzis: "Sadly, too often victims of domestic violence, for a host of reasons, choose not to cooperate with the process that holds their abusers accountable."

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