McCarthy: Walden will start Sunday
Erik Walden. | Photo: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
GREEN BAY - Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy said Wednesday afternoon that linebacker Erik Walden will start against the Oakland Raiders this Sunday.
The Brown County District Attorney has charged Walden with misdemeanor disorderly conduct connected to a domestic incident, and he told TODAY'S TMJ4's Tom Murray that he would not seek additional jail time for Walden.
Walden allegedly assaulted his girlfriend over Thanksgiving weekend, but the criminal complaint describes differing accounts of the incident.
He was originally expected to enter a Brown County courtroom Wednesday morning, but he did not appear.
"The question that is unresolved at this point: who started this?" asked Walden's attorney, Steven Richards.
According to the criminal complaint, Walden's live-in girlfriend initially told police that he "threw her across the room, but then said he just pushed her."
The complaint states that when she fell, she had a cut on her forehead when her head hit a bed post.
She also said she injured her thumb while trying to defend herself. She eventually went to St. Vincent Hospital for treatment.
"The pushing resulted in injury, but we don't believe necessarily that there was an intent to injure, but clearly there was behavior that qualifies as disorderly conduct," said District Attorney John Zakowski.
When police asked her where Walden worked, the complaint says she responded with "The Packers."
She then asked what would happen to Walden, and an officer explained that he would have to be arrested.
According to the complaint, she then changed her story, and said Walden pushed her "because she provoked him," and that she "wanted her to be arrested, and not Walden. She stated that she did not know how her thumb got injured, but thought now it was because she punched Walden."
Police later talked to Walden, and according to the complaint, he said he felt his girlfriend " 'coming towards him from around the left side of the bed', so he stood up from the bed and put his right arm up to defend himself."
According to Walden's story, she "then came after him with her fists up" and "grabbed the back of his shirt and punched him in the right side of his face."
The complaint says he " 'shoved' (his girlfriend) because she was coming at him.' "
"I want to apologize to the entire organization, teammates, fans, it's an ongoing process and I respect the process," said Walden.
Walden also explained, "It's just unfortunate that I brought some negative to so much positive that is going on in this organization."
District Attorney John Zakowski had options of pursuing domestic violence charges that could bring time behind bars, a lesser disorderly conduct misdemeanor that could be resolved with paying a fine, or dropping the case completely.
“It’s the kind of case where it’s not only a matter of trying to find out what took place, but what you can prove,” said Zakowski.
Walden and his girlfriend have two young children. Murray was told that the children are spending most of their time with their mother.