Felony charges against Foster were dropped Wednesday after a judge ruled there was insufficient evidence to proceed with domestic violence accusations against the linebacker, Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area reports.
Foster faced three felony charges in relation to a February arrest involving his girlfriend, who later recanted her claims of domestic violence. With the charges now dropped, Foster has a clear path to return to the 49ers for his second NFL season. However, Maiocco adds that Foster remains on the hook for a misdemeanor charge for possession of an assault weaponm so he could still be facing discipline from the league in advance of the 2018 campaign.
The Judge in Foster's case indicated Thursday that he will rule on whether or not there is enough evidence to proceed to trial on May 23, Evan Sernoffsky of the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
Foster's former girlfriend recanted her story during the hearing Thursday, improving his chances of having the case dropped. If he's able to avoid charges, the second-year linebacker could have a solid opportunity to keep his spot atop the depth chart. However, general manager John Lunch did note that the team would release Foster if the charges were proven to be true.
Foster's former girlfriend -- who pressed charges against him for domestic violence in February -- said through her attorney Wednesday that she fabricated reports of an assault in an effort to "trash his career" after the linebacker dumped her, Kurtis Alexander of the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
This is quite the development as Foster's April 30 plea deadline approaches. The Santa Clara County prosecutors involved with the case have yet to announce whether they will proceed with the charges filed against Foster. The 49ers have insisted that they want to let the legal process play out before rendering a decision on Foster's future with the organization. General manager John Lynch did clearly state that the team would cut Foster if the allegations regarding his assault proved to be true, so the accuser's statements Wednesday could dramatically change how this story unfolds.
Lynch is referring to Foster's felony domestic violence charge from a February arrest. The linebacker is being kept away from the 49ers while the legal process plays out, and he eventually could be placed on the commissioner's exempt list. Foster has a plea hearing scheduled for April 30.
Foster will not participate in team activities as his legal process plays out, Nick Wagoner of ESPN reports.
Foster is facing three felony charges as a result of his February arrest. There is no timeline on how long it might take for the process to reach its conclusion.
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