Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill did not break his three-year-old son’s arm last January, and neither did his fiancée, Crystal Espinal. According to multiple sources close to the investigation, Hill and Espinal were cleared of any role in the broken bone injury almost immediately after the investigation began in March.
Investigators quickly agreed with the medical staff that the broken bone was the result of typical accident involving a rambunctious toddler, consistent with reaching out to brace for a fall.
The investigation into Hill and Espinal began weeks after the broken bone was first treated, when Espinal, according to sources, asked a third party to call authorities and tell them that Hill was responsible for the boy’s injury. Espinal has admitted she was trying to shame Hill because in her mind, he had become too controlling and abusive again in their long and stormy relationship.
Hill and Espinal are currently separated and neither has custody of the boy at this time.
The investigation into the couple’s parenting accelerated when Overland Park police checked on the boy in March and found bruises and welts on his body. Both Hill and Espinal have admitted to investigators that they spanked the 3 year old with their hands and a belt, but prosecutors can’t determine for sure which parent, or if both, went too far.
In April Johnson County District Attorney Steve Howe held a press conference to announce criminal charges wouldn’t be brought against Hill or Espinal but stated he believed a crime was committed against the boy and it was believed the crime was about the broken arm. It was not. Howe’s team has halted working on the case as they still can’t bring charges for bruising and harming the boy.
During the news conference Howe said several times that he could not comment about any injuries to the boy whose privacy is protected by law.
Howe did not respond to a request for comment and Chiefs President Mark Donovan declined to comment on this story.
KCTV5 obtained audio in which Espinal secretly recorded a conversation between her and Hill discussing their son’s injury. Sources told Sports Radio 810 that Espinal shared the audio with a person close to her because she feared for her life.
On the recording, Hill, who was previously convicted of a felony after battering Espinal, can be heard telling her, “You need to be terrified of me too, dumb bitch,” after she told him their son was terrified of Hill.
Hill is currently employed by the Chiefs but was suspended from team activities after club officials heard the recording.
Shortly after the suspension by the team, Hill’s attorney sent a letter to the NFL offices, the Chiefs and the NFLPA to explain much of what was said on the recording. While the letter attempts to deny many of the things asserted in the audio, it does admit Hill’s comment that Espinal should be “terrified” of him is inexcusable. The attorney explains in the letter that Hill has been attending individual and family counseling to improve his life and become a better parent.
The Kansas Department for Children and Families continues its investigation in the case of the bruising and welts, but since the case involves a minor its documents are sealed.
At the league’s Spring League Meeting in May, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said the league is investigating but they are waiting on the DCF case to resolve before making any decisions regarding Hill’s future in football. There have been many recent cases in which the league hands out discipline even though no one has been charged or found guilty of a crime.
Chiefs mandatory mini-camp is this week in Kansas City, stay tuned to Sports Radio 810 WHB for updates on this developing story.