(NOTE: This post has been updated. See below.)
A spokesman for the Redondo Beach Police Department refutes the notion that there was no crime committed during the incident allegedly involving Los Angeles Kings defenseman Slava Voynov Sunday night. He also said Voynov could know his fate as early as Wednesday night.
Meanwhile, NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said it’s not a given that the league will reinstate Voynov in time for him to play with the Los Angeles Kings Thursday night against the Buffalo Sabres even if charges are not filed against Voynov. “No,” Daly wrote in an email to thn.com. “I don’t think that is fair to assume. We are certainly going to want to satisfy ourselves with respect to the facts and circumstances before any thought would be given to lifting the suspension.”
Earlier today, Voynov’s lawyer Craig Renetzky told thn.com that he was confident charges would not be filed. Renetzky, a former prosecutor and Assistant District Attorney, said after speaking through an interpreter for more than an hour Tuesday, “it’s clear to me there was no crime here,” and that the incident was an accident and that a misunderstanding took place because of Voynov’s and the victim’s poor grasp of English.
Hoffman said the police differ in their version of the events. “There was definitely a domestic violence incident that occurred and I believe the arrest was appropriate,” Hoffman said. “Therefore, there is a necessity for us to prepare a case and present it to the District Attorney’s office. What, if anything, happens at the District Attorney’s office will dictate where we go from here.”
As for Renetzky’s characterization of the incident, Hoffman said he respects the defense attorney’s right to speak out, but it will not have a bearing on the case.
“The suspect’s attorney is entitled to respond in whatever manner he chooses,” Hoffman said. “However, whatever comments he makes concerning the case are not going to influence or impact the investigation in any manner.”
Even though, generally speaking, cases involving domestic violence are presented to the District Attorney for filing consideration and the prosecutor makes the decision on how the case will proceed, police do have the discretion to not continue investigating if they feel there is no case. “However, when we feel we have the right people involved, then typically we’ll prepare a case to present to the District Attorney,” Hoffman said.
UPDATE:The L.A. county district attorney’s office is requesting “additional follow-up” from Redondo Beach detectives investigating the Voynov case. Other options the district attorney could have chosen include that either misdemeanor or felony charges would be filed or that the case is rejected without charges being filed.
“Upon completion of the case review, the district attorney’s office requested additional follow-up before making a determination on the filing of charges related to this investigation,” Redondo Beach police Lt. Joe Hoffman said, adding that a final decision would come before Voynov’s scheduled Dec. 1 court date.