Napa County District Attorney Gary Lieberstein: “There was no evidence whatsoever that would support Tom Cable ever physically struck, or physically pushed or assaulted in that manner Mr. Hanson.”

October 23, 2009 – 4:45 am by Michael Bean

Good news for Oakland Raiders Coach Tom Cable – he will not face criminal charges for his role in a training camp incident involving one of the team’s former assistant coaches, Randy Hanson. Napa County District Attorney Gary Lieberstein announced the decision in a lengthy press conference Thursday. The incident in question was in a Napa hotel room during Raiders training camp in early August. Cable was accused of assaulting Hanson during the incident and breaking his jaw. Hanson would later tell Yahoo Sports that Cable had even threatened to kill him. As Lieberstein explained today, none of those claims seem to be true. KNBR in San Francisco provided audio of the presser and SRI has transcribed a large portion of Lieberstein’s statements. You can also find below the transcription of several of his answers to the questions journalists posed following the conclusion of his statement.

On why he and the Napa County DA office decided they would not file charges against Tom Cable:

“Our decision is based on a full review of the evidence. We had an outstanding and very complete investigation done by the Napa Police Department which quite frankly was not finished until yesterday afternoon when the victim in this case, the alleged victim, Randy Hanson was asked back to give a follow-up interview to explain inconsistencies that had occurred during a number of statements he had given over the course of this investigation…”

On the extensive review process conducted by his office since the incident occurred in early August:

“What I want you to understand is we reviewed many extensive investigative reports involving several individuals that were inside the hotel room where this occurred. That included three assistant coaches of the Oakland Raiders, Randy Hanson the alleged victim, and of course head coach Tom Cable. We did not have anything to review from Mr. Cable; that’s his right and he chose to exercise that right. So our job is to review what’s in front of us.”

On the sequence of events – from the date of the incident leading up to today when the DA’s office reached their decision – beginning with the night of the altercation:

“We started on this back on August 5th. There was an incident at the Raiders training camp – I’m not going to go over all the details because I know you have it in your press statement. But suffice to say, there was a meeting of sorts in a hotel room during training camp. During the course of that meeting, Mr. Cable was apparently expressing some concerns he had in regards to something that had happened prior to that point and to Mr. Hanson’s job. During the course of the incident, there were some words spoken. Mr. Hanson was disappointed with something he was being told. Coach Cable apparently did get angry and moved toward Mr. Hanson. A couple of the other coaches stepped in between, there was no direct contact that we’ve been able to establish between Coach Cable and assistant coach Hanson. There was possibly a situation where Mr. Hanson had his feet up on the table – it looks like that was what occurred. And he was either bumped in to or lost his balance and he did fall over backwards.”

Then he explained why exactly no charges were pressed against Cable and how and why they diligently and unanimously arrived at that decision:

“It’s very important for you to understand despite what may have been going on, and different rumors and reports in the media, there was no evidence whatsoever that would support Tom Cable ever physically struck, or physically pushed or assaulted in that manner Mr. Hanson. There is also no credible evidence that we can establish in this case that there were verbal threats made towards Mr. Hanson. And this is based on the full review of the three independent witnesses that were in the room. We have determined that there was some type of physical contact that did happen between Mr. Cable and Mr. Hanson when Mr. Hanson went down. And one could say in a textbook manner that a battery had occurred. What I would just submit to you is it would probably be more akin to one of you jostling for position, bumping in to each other and asking us to prosecute.”

“There are many factors we look in to but the bottom line is when we reviewed the many different statements that were made and not made – because again to go over the sequence, the night of August 5th, Randy Hanson went to the hospital. And this was previous. When the incident happened, the police were not called, the matter was not reported. Mr. Hanson went to the hospital to report an injury, as a result of our laws, the police were called. The police responded; Mr. Hanson refused to say who did this, refused to press charges, did not want anything further to happen and indicated at that time someone had tried to punch him or hit him. Subsequently we understand that other statements were made during the course of time. But over many weeks – five, six weeks – Mr. Hanson made no statements. Law enforcement tried to reach him several times when they re-opened the case because of the rumor that there was a fracture. And there was indeed a fracture that did occur in this case. But it is our conclusion based on all the statements that that was not the result of any intended act by Mr. Cable, that under the law we have to prove that act is willful, and that we do not believe that we’d be able to sustain that standard of proof beyond a reasonable doubt in front of a jury…”

Lieberstein then opened it up for questions, beginning with if Mr. Hanson would be charged for obstruction of justice:

“I don’t expect any further charges in this case. I would not characterize Mr. Hanson’s acts as obstruction.”

On if the decision was at all affected by the fact that the incident technically happened ‘in the work place’ of the Raiders:

“No, that’s not part of our decision. There are other forums for that to be held, whether I agree or disagree with someone’s management style, that’s not my jurisdiction. My jurisdiction is did a crime occur, and if it did occur can it be proven without a reasonable doubt in front of a jury. Period.”

On if he felt any pressure from the community or anyone else during the investigation as a result of the high-profiled Raiders training there each summer:

“That has absolutely nothing to do with my decision and the reason I’ll tell you, first of all if you look at my door, my title is District Attorney of Napa County. I’m not President of the Chamber of Commerce of Napa, and whether or not the Raiders choose to have their camp here or somewhere else has nothing to do with my obligations as District Attorney. So people can speculate all they want – it has nothing to do with our decision or our process.”

Listen here to Lieberstein’s press conference on KNBR in San Francisco


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