AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The woman who called police to report a family violence assault by Texas basketball coach Chris Beard said Friday that Beard did not strangle her and she never wanted him arrested or prosecuted.
Beard was suspended indefinitely without pay after his Dec. 12 arrest on a felony charge of strangling his fiancée, Randi Trew, who lives with him.
In a statement sent to The Associated Press by her attorney, Randy Leavitt, Trew said she is “deeply saddened” by the incident and said Beard was acting in self-defense from her.
“Chris and I are deeply saddened that we have brought negative attention upon our family, friends, and the University of Texas, among others. As Chris’ fiancée and biggest supporter, I apologize for the role I played in this unfortunate event. I realize that my frustration, when breaking his glasses, initiated a physical struggle between Chris and myself,” Trew said in the statement.
“Chris did not strangle me, and I told that to law enforcement that evening. Chris has stated that he was acting in self-defense, and I do not refute that. I do not believe Chris was trying to intentionally harm me in any way. It was never my intent to have him arrested or prosecuted. We appreciate everyone’s support and prayers during this difficult time,” she said.
Leavitt confirmed that Trew, whose name was redacted by police from charging documents, agreed to be named publicly. He declined further comment.
In a statement, the university said: “We are reviewing the statement from Randi Trew. This matter is the subject of an internal investigation and the university does not comment on pending investigations.”
Beard’s attorney, Perry Minton, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
According to the police affidavit in support of Beard’s arrest, Trew initially placed an emergency call from their house and told responding officers Beard had strangled her from behind to the point where she couldn’t breathe for several seconds, and bit her when an argument turned physical. The affidavit listed several visible signs of an altercation, including bite marks on her arm and abrasions on her face and leg.
According to the affidavit, Trew initally told police “he choked me, bit me, bruises all over my leg, throwing me around and going nuts.”
A separate Austin police incident report notes that Beard told police Trew had struck at him and that he had tried to grab her wrists to stop her. When asked if any punches were landed, Beard told police, “I think she was trying to hit my private parts,” according to the incident report.
Trew’s statement Friday didn’t address several details noted in the initial police reports, such as the bite marks and telling officers that he had slapped her glasses off her face. But her denial that he strangled her could be significant for prosecutors because Beard was charged with assault by strangulation/suffocation-family violence, a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison if convicted.
A spokesperson for the Travis County District Attorney’s office did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Beard is in his second season of a seven-year guaranteed contract that pays him more than $5 million per year. Before that, he was 112-55 in five seasons with the Red Raiders. He was named The Associated Press coach of the year in 2019, when he guided Texas Tech to a 31-7 finish and lost in an overtime thriller to Virginia in the national championship game.
Texas is 3-0 since Beard was suspended. The Longhorns play Texas A&M-Commerce on Dec. 27 before starting Big 12 play at Oklahoma on Dec. 31.
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