A civil trial is set to begin this May for a former Washington Redskins player accused of brutally beating and choking his girlfriend during a heated argument in the early morning hours of January 2, 2015. Curtis Jordan was charged with maliciously wounding Alexandra Dale a few weeks after the incident. Although Jordan was arrested, he was quickly released on bond.
Defense Claims Girlfriend Provoked Beating
Criminal trial defense attorneys contend that it was Jordan’s ex-girlfriend who first attacked Jordan and posed a threat to their client. The criminal case has remained on hold as the trial has been repeatedly postponed. After over three years, it is finally moving forward.
Jordan and Dale had dated for about two years. According to the civil lawsuit, the couple spent New Year’s Day together before returning to Dale’s house after midnight where they got into an argument.
When Dale tried to get up Jordan tripped her, causing her to fall and hit her head.
Dale, a former surgeon, claims that ex-football player Jordan yelled at her, called her names and accused her of flirting with another man. Dale says she slapped Jordan whereupon he tackled her to the ground and repeatedly slammed her head on the floor. When Dale tried to get up Jordan tripped her, causing her to fall and hit her head. Dale was able to escape to the bedroom where she retrieved an unloaded gun. Jordan then tackled her once again, took the gun from her, and choked her until she lost consciousness.
When she awoke, Dale retreated to her bedroom and barricaded the door with a chair. Jordan attempted to kick the door in and failed. He then cleaned up the bloody crime scene and fled with the gun. Dale claimed that Jordan returned the next morning and begged him to help her while she was weak and bleeding profusely, but he refused. Jordan cleaned Dale’s blood from the scene before leaving once again, the lawsuit alleges. She was later treated at the hospital after concerned neighbors came to check on her.
Head Trauma at the Center of the Civil Trial
While the criminal case is on hold, the civil trial is set to begin in May. It is expected to last about two weeks in federal court where six attorneys are listed for the plaintiff’s side and five for the defense. Among the plaintiff’s attorneys is Stephen Smith of the Brain Injury Law Center.
A large part of the trial will focus on Dale’s injuries, which include head trauma, ripped tendons and bursitis of the elbow, according to a criminal complaint. The lawsuit alleges cuts to Dale’s head, ears and foot, an ankle sprain, torn ligament and bruises all over her body. She was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, has difficulty sleeping and has suffered speech problems.
Dale claims the violent attack worsened a previous brain injury she had, rendering her unable to return to her career as a surgeon. Her initial brain injury was caused by a car accident that was later worsened by an unfortunate fall, according to Dale’s attorney. In the months previous to the assault, Dale had been recuperating with an intent to return to work as a surgeon. However, the brutal beating has removed that future. She has not only had a significant loss in income, she has also been saddled with extensive medical bills and has endured serious physical and emotional damage, according to her lawsuit.
Attorney Stephen Smith, commented, “It’s really tragic…she’s a brilliant woman who loved being a surgeon. She was just starting to improve and was on the road back to doing surgery again when this happened.”
The seriousness of Dale’s brain injury and whether it was made worse by the alleged assault is expected to be a source of contention in both the civil and criminal trials. Several doctors are expected to testify for both sides.
Civil vs. Criminal Trial – Where are They Now?
Jordan’s current bond conditions include a 200-yard restraining order and wearing an alcohol monitoring device. His is also required to notify Dale’s attorney when he is in Virginia Beach.
Dale has since purchased a security dog and a therapy dog.
Although it is unusual for a civil case to come before a criminal case, there is more flexibility in what kind of information is allowed and who can testify in a civil case. The burden to prove in favor of a plaintiff in a civil case is lower than in a criminal case.
- Civil cases are won by the plaintiff by presenting a preponderance of evidence, meaning that it was more likely than not that the defendant did what the plaintiff claims.
- Prosecutors in criminal cases are faced with the burden of proving the defendant’s guilt against the state beyond a reasonable doubt.
With the civil trial scheduled to begin ahead of the criminal trial’s resolution, Attorney Smith explained, “It’s been a nightmare for her, and she can’t get closure with the criminal case dragging on for so long.”