Aug. 3—The Vikings released cornerback Jeff Gladney on Tuesday after he was indicted by a grand jury in Dallas on a felony charge related to an alleged assault in April involving his former girlfriend.
Court records showed Tuesday that the grand jury, which conducted a hearing last Thursday, returned a "true bill" on Gladney. Tasha Tsiaperas of the Dallas County District Attorney's Office confirmed that means Gladney has been indicted on a third-degree felony charge of family violence by impeding breath.
"Following our review of today's indictment against Jeff Gladney, we have decided to release Jeff immediately," the Vikings said in a statement. "As we have previously said, we take these matters very seriously and condemn all forms of domestic violence. Due to the ongoing legal nature of this matter, we are unable to provide further comment."
Gladney was taken with the No. 31 pick in the first round of the 2020 NFL draft and played in all 16 games last season, starting 15. He had been away from the Vikings since his April 5 arrest on a charge of third-degree family violence assault for an alleged incident on April 2.
For there to be an indictment, nine of 12 jurors from the grand jury needed to rule for one. Gladney will be arraigned in court, and a trial date set.
In a statement, Gladney's agent, Brian Overstreet, expressed disappointment with his client being released.
"It's a good thing that innocent until proven guilty still exists in this country," Overstreet wrote. "Unfortunately, the Vikings don't view it the same way. Today, Jeff was indicted which is simply a normal step in the judicial process. It means the case is going to trial and nothing more. It does not speak to his guilt or innocence. We received information that the complaining witness in this case came forward and requested the case not be prosecuted. The Vikings did what they thought was best for their organization which we respect, but we still strongly believe in Jeff Gladney's innocence. We look forward to his day in court so that he can clear his name."
The alleged victim filed a civil lawsuit against Gladney last week, seeking at least $1 million in damages. According to the suit, the woman alleges Gladney beat her for more than two hours and then tried to bribe her to stay silent with a $1,000 necklace from Tiffany's and a gift certificate to a spa.
"Obviously, allegations like these are very disturbing and something that's concerning to us as ownership and to our organization," Vikings president Mark Wilf said Tuesday before Gladney was released.
According to the arrest affidavit, Gladney, in an April 2 dispute with his then-girlfriend in a vehicle over messages in a cell phone, allegedly tried "shoving (her) face," tried "pulling (her) by her hair" and struck her "with closed fists" in the ribs, stomach and back. The affidavit said Gladney later allegedly "began strangling (her) by the neck" and "dragged (her) across the ground" while the vehicle they were in was moving. The affidavit said that the alleged "strangling" resulted in having "impeded her breathing for approximately five seconds."
Gladney was released on a $10,000 bond after his initial arrest. If convicted, he could face from two to 10 years in prison.
Spokesperson Brian McCarthy said the NFL will monitor legal developments and "continue to review this serious and concerning matter under the personal conduct policy."
Gladney had three years and $4.8 million, including $4.2 million guaranteed, left on his contract. He did not return a message seeking comment.