Lynch likely to admit guilt as driver of vehicle (Photo Source)
By now, it's comon public knowledge that Buffalo Bills running back Marshawn Lynch has reached an agreement with Erie County DA Frank Clark to officially end - from this angle, at least - the affair stemming from his May 31 hit-and-run incident.
Less than 24 hours after the announcement, however, new details are beginning to surface about what happened exactly that night, thanks to some fine investigative reporting by The Buffalo News.
It is still unknown to what lesser charge Lynch will plead guilty to; we may not know the answer to that question until late next week. Whatever the charge is, however, Lynch is not expected to face jail time - in fact, he was unlikely to land in prison even when facing the prospect of the full charges. As was reported yesterday, the agreement was based around the fact that Lynch was driving the vehicle in question; he'll almost certainly admit to that fact this coming week.
The News is also reporting that the one player in the car with Lynch at the time of the accident was rookie Bills wide receiver Steve Johnson.
The cause of the accident may also be known to investigators, though the information comes from sources supportive of Lynch - so take it with a grain of salt:
Sources close to the case who have been supportive of the football player said Lynch may have hit Shpeley because his attention was diverted by another woman who was singing and dancing as both she and Shpeley were crossing the street.
Shpeley's representation, lawyer Timothy O'Connell, came forward last night with new testimony from Shpeley and the two unnamed women she was with on the night in question. In said testimony, the women claim that the driver of the SUV slowed, came to a stop, then sped off:
“After stopping for several seconds, the vehicle sped off at a high rate of speed. I think you could say the driver stepped on the gas,” O’Connell said. “What I surmise from that is that the driver slowed down and stopped, saw this injured woman lying there and took off.”
This new information directly contradicts what the DA has for testimony, however:
“From what we’ve been told, the SUV never slowed down. It just took off,” [Clark] said.
All Bills players and executives who were subpoenaed last week were excused as the agreement was reached. The name of the "unnamed executive" subpoenaed has been released; Bills director of security Chris Clark was reportedly in direct contact with Lynch mere hours after the incident took place:
Law enforcement officials said the text-messaging between Chris Clark and the running back began at least six hours after the accident. The officials said Buffalo police were upset to learn that, while refusing to talk to police, Lynch was talking to a team official about his situation.
Authorities said some of the text messages dealt with Lynch’s need to speak with an attorney and the Bills security chief advising him on his legal right to refuse to speak to anyone about the incident. Chris Clark is a former top official of the Erie County Sheriff’s Office.
Lynch's sentencing will come next week, putting to rest the most important of four angles from which Lynch could see punishment. Next up: a potential civil case from Shpeley and her attorney, O'Connell; Bills team discipline; and, perhaps most importantly of all, league discipline. The News has the last issue covered as well:
“We will look into it, and we will see what the facts are,” NFL spokesman Greg Aiello told The News late Friday.
This issue isn't over, folks, and punishment has yet to be doled out, but it's all falling action from here. The suspense is largely over. Now it's time to continue to wait to see how this directly effects the Bills on the field. Stay tuned.