PROSPER, Texas — The divorce drama between former Dallas Cowboys Deion Sanders and his estranged wife Pilar is expected to play out inside a courtroom at the Collin County Courthouse this morning.
The criminal case against Deion appears to be growing.
During a hearing that begins at 10 a.m., the judge will hear evidence from all involved as he considers granting protective orders requested by both Deion and Pilar.
The former Dallas Cowboys star was already cited for assault in an altercation with his estranged wife Pilar Sanders 10 days ago at their Collin County estate.
But a Dallas television station has now learned that Prosper police have referred a more serious charge — criminal mischief — against Sanders to the Collin County District Attorney’s Office, according to four people familiar with the case.
“We believe that Mr. Sanders destroyed a phone in an attempt to hide evidence,” said Pete Schulte, Pilar Sanders’ criminal attorney. “The police have at least taken the step to charge Mr. Sanders for breaking Deana Boswell’s phone.”
Boswell is a family friend who said she witnessed the fight between Deion and Pilar Sanders on April 23 and captured it on her mobile phone.
“I had my phone in my left hand,” Boswell recounted on "News 8 Daybreak" Wednesday morning. “And I was able to capture Deion striking Pilar in the head with a statue. Pilar was crouched down on the floor like this,” she said covering her head with her hands to demonstrate what she saw.
Pilar said that’s how her thumb got injured.
News 8 has learned the new charge against Sanders is a Class A misdemeanor, potentially requiring the former Dallas Cowboys star to be photographed and fingerprinted.
Boswell’s damaged phone is at a U.S. Secret Service lab where agents are trying to salvage the clip to see what it shows.
Appearing on ABC’s "Good Morning America" on Wednesday, Sanders insisted he never assaulted his wife.
“I pray to God they don’t allow [Pilar] back in the home,” Sanders said. “It’s not a safe environment for me as well as the kids. But I assure you one thing: She was never touched.”
The Town of Prosper took a step toward transparency in the high-profile case and sat down the three police officers involved in the investigation with defense attorneys Wednesday evening.
The town also hired a new attorney, Charles Philips.
“There was no special treatment given,” Philips said. “They treated this case the same way they treated any other case. They made their decision based on the information that was presented to them.”
It remains uncertain why Prosper police did not file all of these charges against Sanders when they arrested his wife.
Philips said the police report detailing the incident might finally be released within the next 48 hours.