Back in May, John Elway III was charged with assault and disturbing the peace after his girlfriend told police that he'd dragged her out of his car by her hair and pushed her to the ground when she tried to get back into the vehicle. At a hearing on Sept. 16, he copped a nice plea deal that included dropping the assault charge. Not many people knew about the hearing, though, because it wasn't on that day's public court docket. In fact, Elway twice had court hearings moved up without the change showing up on dockets until after the hearings had happened, the Denver Post reports. It's nice to be the son of the city's most beloved football hero.
The younger Elway was arrested in May. His girlfriend told police they had been in his car with Elway driving when they started arguing. At one point, Elway stopped the car, got out and pulled her "out of the vehicle by her hair causing her hair extension and some of her real hair to be ripped out," according to the probable cause statement. She tried to get back in, but Elway pushed her back to the ground, the statement said. She said they had been dating for a year.
Wednesday's hearing was not posted on the docket around 8 a.m. that morning. On Thursday, the docket in the case reflected that Elway entered a plea around 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday.
Later Elway's lawyer and prosecutors agreed to a plea deal. Elway pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of disturbing the peace, and the assault charge was dropped altogether. And if Elway goes a year without "incidents," the deal gets even sweeter, according to the Post.
Elway was sentenced to one year of probation as part of a deferred judgment. If he completes the year without any incidents, Elway will be allowed to withdraw his guilty plea and the case will be dismissed.
Once again, this happened at a court hearing that wasn't disclosed to the public. Elway entered his plea agreement almost a week before his trial was scheduled to start, at a meeting not on the court docket the previous day, the Post says.
It should be noted that Elway's lawyer was Harvey Steinberg, who appears to be lawyer of choice for Broncos in trouble. Here's a list of his "successes," from a 2012 Post story:
This is an attorney who 11 years ago got Broncos star linebacker Bill Romanowski and his wife, Julie, cleared of 12 combined charges of illegally obtaining a diet drug even though there were allegedly thousands of pills prescribed and two of his friends involved in the operation were convicted. ...
Convinced an Atlanta jury during training camp of 2009 that former Broncos receiver Brandon Marshall was innocent of battery chargers even though the prosecution had presented into evidence seven photographs of the victim's bruise marks ...
Convinced a Douglas County jury to acquit Perrish Cox on two rape charges even though DNA tests proved the former Broncos cornerback had impregnated the accuser on the night in question.
Every city has a handful of go-to, high-priced defense lawyers that people in the know will say are the key to making almost any charge go away. In Denver, it looks like one of them is Steinberg, and the Broncos family would do well to keep him on speed dial.
Photo via Associated Press