Hill charged with domestic violence

SEATTLE -- Seattle Seahawks starting linebacker Leroy Hill is closer to a trial on a domestic violence charge.

Hill appeared at a second hearing Friday in suburban Issaquah Municipal Court. Another hearing was set for July 14, according to the court's clerk. Hill is expected to attend that session as well.

Seattle's four-year starter has a jury call scheduled for July 23. That's when the prosecutor will likely ask for a trial date.

A trial could start in the last week of July.

The 27-year-old Hill was arrested in April for investigation of domestic violence following an incident with his girlfriend at his home. He has pleaded not guilty.

He hasn't practiced since the April 10 incident. The Seahawks say they have kept him away so he can deal with his legal issues, though contractual issues and a fear of Hill getting injured in practices while his playing status is in limbo are also factors.

The Seahawks and Hill were stalled for days last spring over contract provisions related to any league discipline Hill may face from an arrest in January 2009 in Georgia for misdemeanor marijuana possession. Eventually, he signed a six-year deal worth a guaranteed $15.5 million.

This week, new coach Pete Carroll made Hill's future with the team sound iffy. He said Hill's status for the 2010 season is likely to be determined soon.

Hill has missed multiple minicamps and organized team activities.

"Practice is hugely important. There's a new system. There's a whole new approach to how we're doing things," Carroll said Tuesday. "It's certainly hindered his opportunity, without question. The other guys have just rocketed ahead with their chances and taking advantage of that."

Hill is also in danger of having his 12-month probation in Georgia revoked because of the domestic violence case.

Brian Fortner, the solicitor general for Douglas County, Ga., told The Associated Press last month he was leaning toward asking a judge there to revoke Hill's probation. He was waiting to see if the Issaquah prosecutor indeed proceeds with the domestic violence case.

Fortner said it was disappointing Hill was arrested in Issaquah 10 days after he received a plea agreement in his county on the marijuana charge.

Hill is also in danger of a suspension from the NFL under the league's personal-conduct and substance-abuse policies. The NFL has said Hill's status is under review.

A copy of the Issaquah police report states both Hill's girlfriend and Hill called the police over the alleged domestic violence.

The girlfriend told police Hill pulled her down stairs by her ponytail. She said Hill left visible scratch marks on her arm, photos of which were noted to have been included in the partially redacted police report.

Hill told police he was sleeping when his girlfriend searched listings in his phone "and that she found out he was seeing other girls." Hill said there was "nothing physical" that took place between him and his girlfriend in the incident.