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Less than a day after an explosive audio conversation between Kansas City Chiefs receiver Tyreek Hill and his fiancee aired publicly, the Johnson County district attorney has re-opened the investigation of a criminal case for child abuse against the couple, according to KCTV5.
Chiefs head coach Andy Reid confirmed the report at a news conference Friday.
The decision comes two days after district attorney Steve Howe held a news conference in which he declined to press charges due to a lack of evidence, though he repeatedly noted that he believes a crime was committed. Howe also noted then that he could re-open the case if he were to receive more evidence since the statute of limitations in Kansas for such matters is five years.
The audio conversation — which was aired shortly before Round 1 of the NFL draft, one of the league’s spotlight events — sparked outrage among Chiefs fans and many across the NFL, and the Chiefs suspended Hill from the team indefinitely just hours later.
Among the more concerning exchanges the audio revealed:
"What do you do when the child is bad? You make him open up his arms and you punch him in the chest," said Crystal Espinal, Hill’s fiancee.
“You do use a belt. That’s sad,” Hill said. “Even my mama says you use a belt.”
And another, as it relates to an apparent arm injury suffered by the child in question:
“He kept crying because he was scared,” Espinal said. “He was terrified. And what, you grabbed on to him somehow or he fell? One of the two.”
“I didn’t do nothing,” Hill said. “That’s sad, bro.”
“Then why does he say [Daddy] did it?” Espinal replied.
“He says Daddy does a lot of things,” Hill said.
“A child is not going to lie about what happened to his arm,” Espinal said.
And finally, the exchange that figures to catch the NFL’s attention the most:
"He's terrified of you," Espinal said.
"You need to be terrified of me too, bitch," Hill said.
Also in the recording, Espinal said she “rode” Hill for talking to investigators in March, which is significant because the district attorney made it clear Wednesday that he believes a crime took place against the child but he couldn’t prove it.
Hours after the recording aired, police conducted a welfare check at Hill’s home, where he lives with Espinal, according to a KCTV report. Police said she was fine and Hill wasn’t home.
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