Ex-Dodger Julio Urias won't face felony charges, DA says

ByAlden Gonzalez ESPN logo
Wednesday, January 10, 2024

The Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office determined Tuesday that it will not file felony charges against former Dodgers pitcher Julio Uriasfollowing his arrest on suspicion of domestic violence, writing in its charge-evaluation worksheet that "neither the victim's injuries nor the defendant's criminal history justify a felony filing."

The case now will move to the Los Angeles City Attorney's Office for misdemeanor filing considerations.

Major League Baseball, which launched an independent investigation into the incident, likely will wait until the city attorney's office rules before determining a potential suspension.

Urias, currently a free agent, previously was suspended 20 games by MLB in August 2019 following an arrest on suspicion of misdemeanor domestic battery. He was not criminally charged in that incident. If suspended again, Urias would become the first repeat offender in the history of the league's domestic violence policy, which launched in August 2015.

Urias, 27, was arrested on the night of Sept. 3 on suspicion of corporal injury on a spouse and was placed on administrative leave by MLB three days later, effectively ending his season. The incident occurred in the parking lot of BMO Stadium after an LAFC soccer match, during which an eyewitness saw Urias get into a physical altercation with his wife. Urias was released on $50,000 bail the following morning.

The California Highway Patrol's major crimes division spent the ensuing three months investigating the incident before handing the case to the district attorney's office on Dec. 11.The DA's office wrote in the charge-evaluation worksheet Tuesday that Urias pushed the victim against a fence and "pulled her by the hair or shoulders."

Signed out of Mexico shortly after his 16th birthday, Urias navigated through the Dodgers' farm system as a prized pitching prospect, eventually starring as a 19-year-old rookie in 2016. He then returned from major shoulder surgery to become an important contributor on championship-caliber teams, recording the final out of the 2020 World Series, accumulating 20 wins in 2021 and finishing third in National League Cy Young Award voting in 2022.

As a young free agent with relatively few innings under his belt, Urias was widely projected to sign a $200 million-plus contract on the open market before the incident. Now, even in the absence of a criminal conviction, his MLB future seems to be in serious jeopardy.