49ers linebacker Reuben Foster has pleaded not guilty to three felony charges stemming from his alleged domestic incident, as Nick Wagoner of ESPN.com tweets. Foster’s trial is now set to begin on May 17.
Both Foster’s freedom and football future hang in the balance in the upcoming trial. If convicted, the Alabama product could serve up to eleven years in prison. Meanwhile, the Niners say they’ll cut Foster if he is found guilty of striking a woman.
“We do feel like patience is the right approach right now, that we are going to learn things through this legal process,” GM John Lynch said recently. “But I do want to be very clear, abundantly clear, that if these charges are proven true, that if Reuben did indeed hit this young lady, he won’t be part of our organization going forward.”
Two weeks ago, Foster’s accuser recanted her claim, which could make it more difficult for the prosecution to land a conviction in his case. Still, the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s office has vowed to forge ahead. For the time being, Foster has been barred from participating in team activities.
On the field, Foster has been a solid contributor for the Niners. As a rookie last year, he recorded 72 total tackles in ten games (all starts). In November, he earned NFL Defensive Rookie of the Month honors.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.