Greg Hardy charges dismissed

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Domestic violence charges against Carolina Panthers defensive end Greg Hardy have been dismissed, with his accuser not making herself available to help with the case, prosecutors announced Monday.

Hardy's appeal of his 2014 conviction was scheduled to begin Monday morning at the Mecklenburg County Courthouse, but his accuser, ex-girlfriend Nicole Holder, did not show up for the hearing.

In a statement explaining the decision to dismiss charges, the district attorney's office said it has "reliable information" that Holder and Hardy have reached a civil settlement and that she has "intentionally made herself unavailable to the State."

Prosecutors have been unable to locate Holder to issue her a subpoena, which would have compelled her to testify in the trial. Holder's civil attorney also has refused to assist prosecutors in locating his client.

"To prosecute domestic violence cases, we encourage domestic violence victims to not only report domestic violence but to participate in every level of the prosecution," Charlotte District Attorney Andrew Murray said outside the courthouse. "We need that participation in order to gain justice for not only victims of domestic violence, but for this community."

Murray would not comment on whether Holder had reached a settlement or anything else surrounding the case.

Hardy requested the jury trial July 15 after Mecklenburg District Court Judge Rebecca Thorne Tin found the 2013 Pro Bowl selection guilty of assaulting and threatening Holder. Under North Carolina law, his appeal set aside the guilty verdict.

Prosecutors last spoke with Holder in November, and at that time she indicated she wasn't interested in participating in another trial. She has not spoken with them since then, they said in the statement.

Hardy left the courthouse without comment.

He played only one game last season but received $13.1 million from Carolina after being designated the franchise tag in February.

Hardy was placed on the inactive roster in Week 2, days after the NFL's climate regarding domestic violence changed with the release of a video showing then-Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice hitting his then-fiancée Janay Palmer in a casino elevator.

Hardy was placed on the commissioner's exempt list before Week 3 until his case was resolved. General manager Dave Gettleman said after the July 15 verdict that "what's happened with Greg is very concerning and disappointing."

"His status remains unchanged until we fully review the matter," the NFL said Monday.

Asked by ESPN.com whether the reported settlement would be used as an admission of guilt by the NFL for determining punishment, a league spokesman said: "I can't answer that because I don't know. We need to review the matter."

The Panthers said in a statement Monday that they were aware that Hardy's charges were dismissed but that he will remain on the commissioner's exempt list while the NFL completes its review.

Despite the charges being dismissed, sources told ESPN.com that the Panthers are not expected to pursue Hardy once he becomes an unrestricted free agent March 10.

Hardy would have been subject to a minimum six-week suspension by the NFL under the league's new code of conduct policy if he had been found guilty.

ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter contributed to this report.