Lakers reserve forward Jordan Hill was charged with a third-degree felony Monday for allegedly choking a woman with whom he was having a “dating relationship,” according to the Harris County district attorney’s office in Texas.
Hill faces up to 10 years in jail and will have to return to Houston for a court appearance on an unspecified date.
[Updated at 1:02 p.m.: Hill is supposed to appear at a Houston court Tuesday at 9:30 a.m. CT. It is unclear if his lawyer could appear without him. The Lakers play host to Denver in the second game of their first-round playoff matchup Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.]
[Updated at 1:16 p.m.: The court has confirmed that Hill must appear Tuesday in person.]
[Updated at 3:25 p.m. : Hill’s agent said the Lakers forward did not have to appear in court Tuesday and would spend tonight resting up for Game 2 against Denver.]
Hill, who was with the Houston Rockets at the time, got into a dispute with the woman on Feb. 29 while they were discussing their future at his apartment in Houston, according to court documents.
The woman, Darlene Luna, threw his two cellphones to the floor and was hit in the legs by Hill, who pulled her off a sofa and dragged her toward the cellphones before throwing her against a wall. Hill then put her in a chokehold, which caused her to gasp for air, according to the complaint.
The woman flew back to her residence in Orlando and called police in Houston about four weeks later, on March 29. Luna emailed pictures of bruises on her legs and upper body and also copies of plane tickets to and from Houston. She had been in a relationship with Hill for about two years.
On his Twitter account Monday morning, Hill posted “Unbelievable!!!!!!” and “Wowwwww,” apparently in response to the breaking news of the alleged dispute.
Later, in a written statement, he said he was “saddened to learn of the accusations that were filed against me.”
“At this time I cannot comment further other than to say that my attorneys are working to gather all of the facts and evidence and I plan to cooperate completely with the authorities.
“I’d like to apologize to the Lakers organization and to all of their fans for the untimeliness of these accusations. I promise to keep my focus and attention on the playoffs during this time and to helping my team win another championship.”
Hill, 24, was acquired by the Lakers on March 15 for Derek Fisher and a first-round pick. He had been slowed by a sprained knee ligament and received almost no playing time until recently.
He had 14 points and 15 rebounds in a recent regular-season game against Oklahoma City. He had 10 points and 10 rebounds in the Lakers’ playoff opener Sunday against Denver.