Saturday, April 21, 2018
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Case against Tampa Bay Buccaneers' Aqib Talib has been dismissed

The case against Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Aqib Talib has been dismissed, according to his attorney, Frank Perez.

Talib was scheduled to stand trial on charges of assault with a deadly weapon June 25 in Dallas County, Tex.

Police said that Talib pistol-whipped and fired shots at Shannon Billings, the live-in boyfriend of Talib's sister, who resides in Garland, Tex. However, Billings is currently jailed as a repeat sex offender.

Perez said that in reviewing the case, prosecutors did not believe their chief witness would be credible.

"I guess the district attorney, in preparing for trial, had a chance to evaluate the case,'' Talib's attorney told the Times Monday. "The bottom line is that the complainant is sitting in jail as a repeat child molester and has prior cases of the same nature.''

The dismissal of the second-degree felony, which could have carried a maximum sentence of 2-20 years, if convicted, means Talib's legal problems appear to be behind him for now. It also enables Talib to begin a 2012 NFL season under new coach Greg Schiano with a clean slate.

"We felt strongly the whole time that this would be resolved in Aqib's favor,'' Perez said. "He's very excited he can resume his career and have a fresh start with no problems.''

Talib's attorneys, Perez and Jay Reisinger, later released a statement on Talib's behalf:

"Today, the District Attorney for Dallas County, Texas dismissed all of the charges that were filed against Aqib Talib in March, 2011. We appreciate the District Attorney's thorough review of this case. Aqib is appreciative of the support that he received from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' organization, his teammates, Buccaneers' fans and his friends and family during this difficult period. With this matter now successfully behind him, Aqib's sole focus is on contributing to a successful 2012 season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.''

Billings, a registered sex offender with the state of Texas, is sitting in Dallas County jail on a bond of $265,000 after being arrested March 1, 2012 on charges of indecency with a child/sexual contact.

He also was arrested Dec. 10, 2011 on a charge of sexual assault and was jailed on $25,000 bond. However, the grand jury returned a 'no bill,' in the case, according to court records.

Through his attorney, Talib has maintained his innocence since his arrest for his role in the March 21, 2011 shooting.

At the time of his arrest, Garland police said Talib tried to pistol-whip Billings, with a Springfield 9mm. During a struggle, the gun jammed after it struck a fence and was retrieved by Billings. About that time, Talib's mother, Okolo, 58, arrived at the scene and fired several shots with a .38 Ruger. At some point, Aqib Talib gained possession of his mother's gun and fired two shots at Billings, according to arrest warrants.

The Bucs conferred with Talib once the NFL's labor lockout ended and allowed him to return to the team.

In August, Talib met with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell in New York and learned he would not be suspended by the NFL for the 2011 season. Instead, the Bucs and the league would monitor his case, general manager Mark Dominik said at the time.

Talib was suspended by the league for the first game of the 2010 season after assaulting a St. Petersburg cab driver in 2009.

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