Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise
Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise

Documents Explain Why Prosecutors Dropped Charges Against Thiago Silva

Illustration for article titled Documents Explain Why Prosecutors Dropped Charges Against Thiago Silva

On the Fourth of July, Thaysa Silva boarded a Miami plane bound for São Paulo and never came back, according to prosecutors. She took the domestic violence case against UFC light heavyweight Thiago Silva with her.


The Broward State Attorney's Office today released the memo from its lawyers explaining why they chose to not prosecute the domestic violence case against Silva, who was charged with two counts of aggravated assault and one count of written threats to kill. When Thiago Silva first was arrested, UFC president Dana White pledged that Silva would never fight again. But within days of the decision to not prosecute, Silva was back with UFC.

Why didn't the charges stick? The memo outlines how in this case, as in so many domestic violence cases, the key witness went from working with investigators to uncooperative to eventually abandoning the legal process, instead getting physically as far away from her alleged attacker as she could.

Silva was arrested in February. In April, his wife sounds like she's still working with law enforcement but with hesitation. Another person Silva threatened, Pablo Popovitch, also might help.

In late April, 2014, I received a call from Pablo Popovitch stating that he and Thaysa Silva wanted to make additional claims against Thiago Silva. During that phone call, I could hear Ms. Silva directing Pablo to ask me certain questions. When I asked to speak with Ms. Silva directly, she refused to come to the phone, at which point Pablo stated that he would "call Detective Tucker", and ended the call. Detective Tucker later informed me that she had in fact spoken with Ms. Silva and Pablo Popovitch regarding new allegations, however, they had refused to comply with her requests to provide necessary evidence.

In May, she had her injunction for protection against her husband dismissed. She's also ignoring both the detective and the prosecutor on the case.

On May 7, 2014, I received an email from Detective Tucker that Thaysa Silva had voluntarily dismissed the Injunction for Protection against Thiago Silva. I made several calls to confirm this information, but was unable to make contact with Ms. Silva. Detective Tucker also continued in her efforts to make physical contact with Thaysa Silva by visiting her home and the Popovitch Training Center. Again, these efforts were met with negative results


In June, she's looking into if she can leave the country.

In early June, 2014, Ms. Silva hired local attorney, Stewart Valencia to advise her of her rights related to leaving the country, prior to the resolution of the pending cases. Mr. Valencia has confirmed that at that time, Ms. Silva emphatically stated that she "was moving back to Brazil, and was only in town to retrieve her personal belongings and her dog."


She boarded her flight on July 4. When the detective checked on her home in August, he found an empty house and neighbors who believed she had moved back to Brazil.

The full close-out memo is below.