Los Angeles Lakers forward Jordan Hill faces a third-degree felony assault charge for choking his girlfriend, 28-year-old Darlene Luna, at his Houston apartment. The incident occurred at about 1 p.m. on Feb. 29 at the apartment.
Harris County prosecutors charged Hill in March, and he will have to make an appearance in Houston to face the charge -- third-degree felony for assault on a family member by choking -- the Houston district attorney's office said.
Hill faces a sentence of two to 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine. Once paperwork is complete, a warrant for his arrest will be issued.
According to court documents, Luna told police that Hill assaulted her and choked her, causing bruising to her body and restricted her breathing on February 29 after the two got into an argument while discussing their future. During the argument, Luna says she threw his cell phones to the floor. Hill then got angry and punched her in the legs, grabbed her, pulled her off the couch and dragged her to where the phones were, and threw her against the wall.
Hill next demanded that she pick up his phones, and when she turned away from him and refused, Hill grabbed her from behind and put her in a chokehold, restricting her breathing.
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Hill responded via Twitter to the charge as word spread of it, tweeting Wowwwww, and Unbelievable!!!!!!!!
He then later issued a statement reading: I'm saddened to learn of the accusations that were filed against me today. At this time I cannot comment further other than to say that my attorneys are working to gather all of the facts and evidence and I plan to cooperate completely with the authorities.
The Lakers also issued a statement later on Monday.
We are aware of the media reports alleging an incident involving Jordan Hill from two months ago when he was a member of the Houston Rockets. We do not have any details regarding these reports and therefore, as well as due to the personal and legal aspects, it would not be appropriate for us to comment. Any further inquiries regarding this should be directed to Jordan's representative.
ESPN reports that both Hill and Lakers coach Mike Brown said they did not expect Hill to be absent from any games or practices as the case unfolds.
The Lakers acquired Hill from the Houston Rockets in exchange for guard Derek Fisher and a first round pick in March. He has played a total of 83 minutes since then, but in his last three games, including Game 1 of the Lakers' first-round matchup against the Denver Nuggets on Sunday, he has played 89, averaging 10.6 points and 11 rebounds.
The Lakers won Game 1 over the Nuggets 103-88, with Hill scoring 10 points, grabbing 10 rebounds and blocking two shots. He also shot 5-for-10 from the field in 24 minutes.
Game 2 is scheduled for Tuesday night at Staples Center.
Here are five things to know about the Luna and the case involving her and Hill:
- Luna is of Hispanic descent
- She had been dating Hill for about two years
- As of right now, Luna's supposed Twitter account is protected
- According to that account, she is a manager and event planner based in Los Angeles
- Luna's complaint to police about the choking incident was filed one month after the alleged incident