Los Angeles Lakers center Jordan Hill was charged with felony assault on Monday morning, accused of allegedly choking his girlfriend at his Houston-area home while a member of the Houston Rockets earlier this season.
The official charge is "assault of a family member," according to court documents obtained by Houston ABC affiliate KTRK-TV. Hill's girlfriend reportedly told police that after she threw his cell phones on the floor during a Feb. 29 argument, he "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," according to KTRK.
Court documents state Hill demanded that she pick up his phones, and when she turned away from him, Hill grabbed her from behind and put her in a chokehold in which she couldn't breathe.
His girlfriend told police that she told Hill she wanted to go home and he booked her a flight back to Florida. Police say her friend picked her up from the airport and stated she was not herself and that she saw bruises on her legs and upper body.
According to police, they obtained photos of the injuries from Hill's girlfriend that were consistent with her and her friend's statements.
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Donna Hawkins, a spokeswoman for the Harris County, Texas, District Attorney's office, told Brian Rogers of the Houston Chronicle that if convicted of the alleged third-degree felony, Hill, 24, faces between two and 10 years in prison. Harris also said that a protective order has been granted against Hill in connection with the alleged incident.
TMZ first reported the charges Monday morning.
"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," a Lakers representative reportedly told TMZ, according to a Monday afternoon update. "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."
Hill was traded to Los Angeles as part of a March 15 trade deadline deal that sent longtime Lakers guard Derek Fisher to Houston. He made seven regular-season appearances for the Lakers following the trade, including one start, averaging 4.7 points and 4.4 rebounds in 11.7 minutes per game.
The third-year pro out of Arizona, a former first-round pick of the New York Knicks, made his postseason debut Sunday in L.A.'s 103-88 victory over the Denver Nuggets in Game 1 of their first-round Western Conference playoff series, contributing 10 points and 10 rebounds in 24 minutes off the Laker bench.
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