UPDATED 04/26/19 4:20 p.m. ET: KCTV5 reports that the criminal case against Tyreek Hill has officially been reopened following the release of the disturbing audio clip, in which he can be heard threatening his fiancée, Crystal Espinal. He also denies breaking his son's arm, despite Espinal suggesting that he was responsible. Police were reportedly called to his home just hours after audio surfaced.
On Thursday it was confirmed that he was suspended from the Kansas City Chiefs on account of his comments in the audio. "Earlier this evening, we were made aware of the audio between Tyreek and Crystal (Espinal)," Chiefs GM Brett Veach explained. "We were made aware of this information in real time, just like the general public. We were deeply disturbed by what we heard and deeply concerned. Now, obviously, we have great concern for Crystal, we are greatly concerned for Tyreek, but our main focus, main concern, is with the young child."
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On Wednesday, Johnson County, Kansas District Attorney Steve Howe stated at a press conference that authorities would not file criminal child abuse charges against Chiefs Pro-Bowl wide receiver Tyreek Hill or the child's mother, Crystal Espinal, for a March incident in which Hill's three-year-old son had his arm broken.
Howe further stated that his office was "certain" that a crime had occurred but that they couldn't determine if that abuse came from Hill or Espinal.
"We are very concerned by the situation," he said at the time. "A child has been hurt. So, yes, as a prosecutor and a father of four kids, it’s frustrating you can’t do anything about it... it's much better to let a guilty person go free than to convict an innocent person."
However, on Thursday, CBS-affiliated KCTV5 News in Kansas City obtained and aired an 11-minute long audio clip where Espinal and Hill discuss the toddler's broken arm and how to deal with it. It's unclear if this will alter law enforcement's decision but the recording is available at this link. Also certainly worth noting is that the Johnson County DA's office now has the audio.
Chiefs beat writer Brooke Pryor listened to that audio and provided a rundown of its contents. She also stated that the recording was ominously referred to as an "insurance policy" that Espinal gave to a friend of hers:
In the recording, Crystal says her son said "Daddy did it."— Brooke Pryor (@bepryor) April 25, 2019
The news of Hill shot to the top of Twitter's trending topics moments before it was bounced for developments over the course of the 1st-round of the NFL Draft. It was also briefly brought up to Roger Goodell on ESPN moments before the kickoff of the sport's biggest spring event:
In 2014, Hill also had a domestic violence incident that necessitated police involvement while he was a prep player at Oklahoma State. In that instance, Hill was arrested on complaints that he assaulted Espinal, who was his girlfriend at the time, and who was also pregnant. She claims that he repeatedly punched and choked her. He was subsequently kicked off the OSU team and later pleaded guilty to domestic assault and battery by strangulation.
Prior to this new development, Hill had released a statement when prosecutors (originally) decided not to move forward with the case. In that statement he had said:
"I love and support my family above anything. My son’s health and happiness is my number one priority. I want to thank the Kansas City Chiefs, my attorneys, my agent and my union for supporting me through this. My focus remains on working hard to be the best person for my family and our community I can be, and the best player to help our team win."