The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office has determined not to file felony charges against free agent pitcher Julio Urías, reports Alden González of ESPN (X link). The investigation has been forwarded to the L.A. City Attorney’s Office to determine whether misdemeanor charges are warranted.
Urías, then a member of the Dodgers, was arrested and booked on a felony charge of “corporal injury on a spouse” on September 3. According to ESPN, police alleged in the arrest report that Urías was arrested after a physical altercation between a man and a woman following an MLS game. Law enforcement turned the case over to the District Attorney’s Office in mid-December.
Prosecutors have evidently determined not to proceed with the felony case. Whether misdemeanor charges are filed will determine if the criminal proceedings continue. The decision not to bring felony charges is not a declaration that no assault of any kind was committed. Jack Harris of the L.A. Times reports that the D.A.’s office’s charge evaluation worksheet claims that Urías “pushed his wife against a fence and pulled her by the hair or shoulders” but stated that “neither the Victim’s injuries nor the Defendant’s criminal history justify a felony filing.”
MLB will presumably wait on the resolution of the criminal matter before deciding whether discipline is warranted. The league can impose discipline even in the absence of criminal charges under the Joint Domestic Violence policy with the Players Association.
In 2019, MLB suspended Urías for 20 games after determining he violated the domestic violence policy at that time. (He was arrested on the 2019 incident but did not face criminal charges after the DA’s Office agreed to defer prosecution.) No player has yet been suspended twice for violations of the domestic violence policy.
Urías spent the remainder of the 2023 season on administrative leave. He became a free agent at the start of the offseason thanks to his six years of service time. He finished the year with a 4.60 ERA in 21 starts.