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Domestic violence case against ex-Texas basketball coach Chris Beard is dismissed

Beard, the men’s basketball coach for the University of Texas, was fired in January weeks after the arrest.
Texas Longhorns head coach Chris Beard.
Texas Longhorns head coach Chris Beard.Patrick McDermott / Getty Images file

Prosecutors are dismissing a domestic violence case against former University of Texas basketball coach Chris Beard, the Travis County District Attorney’s Office said Wednesday.

Beard, who previously coached Texas Tech, was arrested Dec. 12 and fired by UT in January.

Travis County District Attorney José Garza said his office was filing a motion to dismiss the case “after a careful and thorough review of the evidence, recent public statements” and the wishes of the woman involved.

His office said the felony offense cannot be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

"Our office takes all domestic abuse cases seriously to ensure justice for the victims,” Garza said in the statement. “In every case, we are obligated to evaluate the facts and evidence and do our best to reach an outcome that will keep the victim and our community safe.” 

Beard was arrested on a felony count of family violence assault that involves strangulation or suffocation.

Beard's fiancée said in a statement in late December that Beard did not strangle her and that she did not want charges filed against him, NBC affiliate KXAN of Austin has reported.

Beard’s attorney, Perry Minton, did not immediately respond to a request for comment Wednesday evening.

Minton said in a statement to the Austin American-Statesman newspaper and other outlets that Beard has always maintained his “absolute innocence.”

“This district attorney has a well-earned reputation for being very tough regarding domestic violence cases,” Minton said. “The fact that Mr. Garza’s review resulted in this determination says a lot. We are very pleased.”

Texas hired Beard in 2021. Before that, he led Texas Tech for five seasons, and the Red Raiders reached their first-ever NCAA championship game, in 2019.

The University of Texas suspended Beard after the arrest and fired him on Jan. 5.

Rodney Terry replaced Beard as head coach for the season.