Due to new evidence in his case, Dominique Hatfield will see his aggravated robbery charge dropped.
Nakamura said “the totality of the circumstances” warranted the charges against Hatfield, but now it “requires more investigation before we can put the whole thing to rest”.
Whittingham said in a statement Friday he is “relieved” Hatfield has been exonerated, but that “does not necessarily impact” the disciplinary actions taken for his violation of team rules. “There is, however, the possibility of future reinstatement to our team if he is able to meet certain expectations we have in place for our student-athletes”. Despite the dismissal of charges, though, Utah should not bring Hatfield back into the locker room in 2015.
Nakamura said his office will investigate the case further and is likely to re-file lesser charges against Hatfield.
Police arrested Hatfield when the victim’s wife set up another sale to purchase iPhones from him.
Investigators are now unsure where Hatfield was the man who committed the robbery, though he may have been otherwise involved in the incident, Nakamura told the Associated Press.
Nakamura said they also still believe Hatfield tried to sell stolen cellphones to the same victim in a second interaction at the same auto wash on June 30.
Hatfield was a major piece of the Utah defense last season after starting 10 games and finishing with 38 tackles, an interception, and nine pass breakups. Hatfield admitted to stealing the smartphones from drunk partygoers in order to sell them online later.
Hatfield’s attorney, Greg Skordas, said video evidence from a location across the street from where the robbery occurred proves that Hatfield did not commit the crime. At this present time, there is no news on if Hatfield will be reinstated to the Utes program. Skordas said his client since moved home to Calif. and is considering transferring to another school. Skordas said he wanted Utah to “understand that this wasn’t dismissed because of some constitutional issue or illegal search and seizure, it was dismissed because he wasn’t the guy who did the armed robbery”.
The 20-year-old Hatfield was expected to be a starter for the Utes, who begin fall practice on August 8.