Va. assault, battery trial against ex-NFL player Derrius Guice delayed amid ongoing scrutiny

On the day former Washington Football Team running back Derrius Guice was to stand trial on four misdemeanor counts related to a series of alleged domestic assaults last year in Loudoun County, Virginia, his lawyers were granted a request to delay trial until June 1.

Guice was arrested in August 2020 for three separate incidents at his Ashburn home. According to charging documents, in February, March, and April of last year Guice pushed his then-girlfriend to the ground several times and threw her phone into the street.

He also allegedly strangled her until she lost consciousness.

Guice will stand trial on three misdemeanor counts of assault and battery, and one charge of destruction of property with a value of under $1,000. Each count carries a maximum sentence of one year behind bars.

In January, Loudoun County prosecutors dropped the sole felony charge against Guice — strangulation — with a sentence ranging from one to five years.

In a defense motion, attorney Peter Greenspun told the judge a defense witness underwent emergency surgery last week, would be unable to testify and requested the delay.

Loudoun County Commonwealth’s Attorney Buta Biberaj, in a brief hearing Thursday before District Court Judge Lorrie Sinclair Taylor, said she has been in touch with Guice’s former girlfriend and did not oppose the delay. The judge rescheduled the one-day trial for June 1.

Guice has remained on bond since his arrest, but was released by the Washington Football Team immediately after. He did not play during the last NFL season.

Last week, scrutiny of Guice ramped up again, as Louisiana State University released an unredacted police report to a former student who said Guice took a partially nude photograph of her without her consent and shared it with other members of the LSU football team in July 2016.

The woman, Samantha Brennan — along with USA Today — sued the school in October 2020, seeking the unredacted police report, which includes her and Guice’s names.

Also last week, Abby Owens identified herself publicly for the first time in a hearing before Louisiana state lawmakers. Owens has alleged Guice raped her in June 2016, while both were LSU students.

The university hired a law firm, which found a number of problems in the way the university had handled allegations of sexual misconduct. The law firm’s report was also released this week.

Guice was never charged with any crimes in connection with the two women in Louisiana.

In Virginia, Greenspun has declined to comment on the recent stories regarding his client’s actions in 2016, or his reaction to the recent stories.

With few similarities between the Louisiana cases and the Loudoun County series of assaults — other than the high-profile suspect — it’s unlikely the former LSU students or their stories would play a role in the local trial, even during a sentencing phase, even if Guice were to be convicted.

Although dropping the felony charge in Loudoun County could pave the way to a plea agreement in District Court, and eliminate the need for the woman to relive the events in Circuit Court testimony from the witness stand, defense attorney Greenspun and prosecutor Biberaj have not indicated they are working to resolve the case without a trial.

Neal Augenstein

Neal Augenstein has been a reporter at WTOP since 1997. Through the years, Neal has covered many of the crimes and trials that have gripped the region. Neal's been pleased to receive awards over the years for hard news, feature reporting, use of sound and sports.

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