(CN) – Domestic violence charges against Carolina Panthers defensive end Greg Hardy were suddenly dismissed Monday after his accuser, ex-girlfriend Nicole Holder, did not show up for a hearing.
The appeal of Hardy’s 2014 conviction was supposed to begin Monday morning in Mecklenburg County, but Holder didn’t make herself available to the State. The district attorney’s office said it has “reliable information” that Holder and Hardy have reached an independent civil settlement.
“To prosecute domestic violence cases, we encourage domestic violence victims to not only report domestic violence but to participate in every level of the prosecution,” Charlotte District Attorney Andrew Murray said outside the courthouse. “We need that participation in order to gain justice for not only victims of domestic violence, but for this community.”
Prosecutors haven’t been able to locate Holder to issue her a subpoena, which would have required her to testify at the trial. According to Murray, they have taken “extraordinary measures” to contact Holder, including police staking out the addresses where she was believed to be living, but they’ve had no success.
Hardy was convicted last summer of assaulting and threatening to kill Holder at a party in his condominium. He appealed the ruling, which set aside the guilty verdict, but he only played one game last season for the Panthers. The team placed him on the inactive roster after the release of a video showing Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice hitting his fiancee in a casino elevator.
The NFL has stated that Hardy’s suspension will remain in effect until the matter is reviewed.
A Panthers spokesman said the team has no comment on the case or the dismissal until it has looked at all the facts. Hardy becomes a free agent next month.
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