The former Seattle Seahawks offensive tackle was found guilty of two counts of domestic violence involving a former girlfriend
Former Seattle Seahawks offensive tackle Chad Wheeler has been found guilty of two counts of domestic violence involving a former girlfriend, according to multiple reports.
The ex-Seahawks backup was found guilty on Thursday of first- and second-degree domestic violence assault, and not guilty of unlawful imprisonment, ESPN, The Seattle Times and Sports Illustrated reported.
A King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office spokesperson told ESPN that the state could seek a mandatory maximum sentence of five years for the first-degree assault charge because the jury determined that Wheeler “used force or means likely to result in death.”
King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment or additional details about the verdict.
Wheeler, 29, was arrested in Kent, Washington in 2021 and later charged with domestic violence assault and unlawful imprisonment in connection with the crime, according to The Seattle Times.
Wheeler’s trial was delayed due to his defense team’s repeated requests to “get expert evaluations done,” the newspaper reported.
According to charging documents obtained by PEOPLE, on the night of his arrest, Wheeler allegedly "viciously attacked the victim in her bedroom" and strangled her twice until she lost consciousness.
Taylor told police Wheeler then threw her on the bed, choking her and trying to smother her. She began to lose consciousness and tried to fight back, but Wheeler grabbed her arm and twisted it, the documents allege.
Taylor recalled the moments after the alleged assault at the couple's Seattle-area apartment in an interview with CBS This Morning in February 2021.
"I had touched my face, and I looked down and there was — there's blood on my hand," Taylor said. "And I remember getting up and running to the bathroom. Chad was standing by the bed, by the doorway, and he was sipping his smoothie. And he was, like, 'Wow, you're — you're still alive.'"
Taylor was rescued by police after she texted friends and family asking them to call 911 while locked in the bathroom, the charging documents stated. When officers arrived on the scene, Taylor began to scream while Wheeler allegedly began apologizing to her, telling police "I don't beat women!"
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Taylor, whose injuries included a fractured humerus and dislocated elbow, later told investigators that she was attacked after Wheeler had asked her to bow to him and she refused.
The Seahawks later released Wheeler from the team, saying in a statement, "The Seahawks are saddened by the details emerging against Chad Wheeler and strongly condemn this act of domestic violence."
Following the verdict on Thursday, Wheeler was taken into custody and is scheduled to be sentenced on Dec. 14, per ESPN.
If you are experiencing domestic violence, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233, or go to thehotline.org. All calls are toll-free and confidential. The hotline is available 24/7 in more than 170 languages.
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