San Francisco 49ers linebacker Rueben Foster's plea hearing has been delayed until May 8, according to multiple reports. Why the delay? Since the February 11 incident, new evidence has presented itself and the alleged victim in the case has changed her story.

"Additional evidence was provided to the People that warrants further investigation so we can take this case to a just result," said Santa Clara DA prosecutor Jim Demertzis on Monday.

Foster faces charges of domestic violence with an allegation that he inflicted great bodily injury, forcefully attempting to prevent a victim from reporting a crime, and possession of an assault weapon.

Before Foster was officially charged, had been around the 49ers' facilities. Since then, he has not participated in team activities, which started on April 16, nor has he been around the facilities.

Foster was arrested on February 11 following an incident that took place at his residence. Elissa Ennis, his 28-year-old then-live-in girlfriend and alleged victim, told sheriff's deputies and Los Gatos police that Foster had dragged her by the hair, physically thrown her out of the house, and punched her repeatedly, according to a news release by the Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office. She sustained bruises and a ruptured eardrum as a result of an altercation that night – but it may not have been with Foster.

Since then, Ennis has changed her story. She released a statement through her attorney stating she had lied about what occurred on February 11.

"(Foster) did not strike her, injure her or threaten her," read the statement. It went on to explain that the injuries were actually the result of a physical fight with another woman, not Foster. Ennis' new story said that Foster tried to end his relationship with her following the altercation.

The "additional evidence" in the case is reportedly a video of the altercation between Ennis and the other woman, which would be damaging to the prosecutor's case against Foster.

Dai Sugano-Bay Area News Group


"The video is believed to show Ennis, following a road rage-type incident in or near San Francisco, fighting with a woman," reports the Sacramento Bee. "Blows are exchanged in the video and the unidentified woman appears to grab Ennis' left ear, which was the one that was ruptured."

"She was extremely upset and told him if he broke up with her she would 'trash his career,'" said the attorney via the statement.

Ennis reportedly attempted to return to the DA's office to correct her story.

Demertzis explained on Monday why his office is proceeding with the case despite Ennis' recanted story of the night's events.

"We understand that people have a lot of questions about this case," Demertzis said on Monday. "What's important to keep in mind is that sadly to often, victims of domestic violence – for a host of reasons – choose not to cooperate with the process that holds their abuser accountable.

"Notwithstanding that, if the evidence independent of a victim in a domestic violence case is compelling, it's the prosecution's duty to seek justice."

The DA's office will use the time before the new plea hearing date to review the video footage that Ennis now says will exonerate Foster.

The 49ers likely heard the most recent version of the story from Foster, who met with team officials, including general manager John Lynch, the day after the incident. The 49ers decided to let the legal process progress before making any decisions on the linebacker's fate with the team.

Lynch confirmed last week that he and the 49ers were surprised by the severity of the charges filed against Foster. He confirmed what team CEO Jed York had stated, that if Foster hit the woman, he would not longer be part of the organization.

"I do want to be abundantly clear that if these charges are proven true, if Reuben did indeed hit this young lady, he won't be a part of our organization going forward," Lynch said on April 23. "That's the standard we want on our team. That's the standard we're going to operate under."

Two days after Lynch's comments, the public criticism regarding the 49ers' lack of action ceased thanks to Ennis' changed story.

The 49ers selected Foster out of Alabama with the No. 31 overall pick in last year's draft. He started 10 games while registering 72 combined tackles with a pass defensed.

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