DA Decides No Charges for Merriman

Chargers star Shawne Merriman was accused of choking Tila Tequila

By Eric S. Page and Tony Shin
|  Saturday, Sep 12, 2009  |  Updated 6:28 AM PDT
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DA Decides No Charges for Merriman

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Tila Tequila accused Shawne Merriman of choking her Sunday, Sept. 6.

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DA Decides No Charges for Merriman

NFL star Shawne Merriman, who was accused of choking reality-show star Tila Nguyen, aka Tila Tequila, will not be charged, the San Diego District Attorney's office said Friday.
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NFL star Shawne Merriman, who was accused of choking reality-show star Tila Nguyen, aka Tila Tequila, will not be charged, the San Diego District Attorney's office said Friday.

"After a thorough review of the investigation into the Sept. 6, 2009, incident at the Poway home of Shawne Merriman, our office has determined there is insufficient evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that any crime was committed. This case is now closed. No further comment will be made," read a statement released by the D.A.'s office.

"I'm not surprised about it," Merriman told the North County Times on Friday afternoon when he learned of the decision at the Chargers' practice facility.  In a statement released Friday evening, Merriman thanked the District Attorney and the San Diego County Sheriff's Department for "carefully reviewing the case and not rushing to judgment."

Merriman was arrested early Sunday after Tequila accused him of choking and throwing her while she was at the San Diego Chargers player's suburban San Diego home. Tequila signed a citizen's arrest warrant accusing Merriman of battery and false imprisonment.
  
The Chargers star said he was trying to prevent her from leaving because she was drunk but he didn't harm her. Tequila's attorney called the linebacker's explanation of an altercation with the reality star that led to his arrest "spin." Attorney Alan S. Gutman said Merriman's public comments that he was trying to protect Tequila, who he thought was drunk, amount to another attack on his client. Gutman predicted Merriman's story will be discredited.
  
On Wednesday, the San Diego County Sheriff's Department turned over its findings to the district attorney.

A representative for Tequila released a statement to TMZ.com saying quote,"Tila Tequila is the victim of a violent crime.  The San Diego District Attorney's decision not to press charges against Shawne Merriman for the battering of Tila Tequila demonstrates an unconscionable negligence in the discharging of their public duties.  We strongly feel that justice has not been served in this matter."

The representative also said a civil lawsuit is in the works. 

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