Police yet to decide if they'll file charges

Updated: December 21, 2009, 5:24 PM ET
Associated Press

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The investigation into the death of Cincinnati Bengals receiver Chris Henry carried into its sixth day on Monday without a resolution on whether his fiancée will be charged.

Henry died Thursday from massive head injuries, a day after falling out of the back of a pickup truck driven by Loleini Tonga, his fiancée. Charlotte-Mecklenburg police described the incident as a domestic dispute.

"There is nothing new to report. She hasn't been criminally charged in his death, nor has she been cited for any traffic violations," police spokesman Robert Fey said Monday. "That said, the investigation into Mr. Henry's death continues."

Henry, who was 26, was away from the Bengals after being placed on injured reserve last month with a broken forearm. Police said Henry and Tonga got into an argument at the Tonga family home and she drove away in a pickup truck.

Police said Henry then jumped into the bed of the truck. Witness Lee Hardy told reporters he heard Henry say, "If you take off, I'm going to jump off the truck and kill myself."

A 911 caller told a dispatcher she saw a shirtless man wearing a cast "beating on the back of this truck window." A later 911 caller said he saw an unresponsive man laying on a curvy, residential road about eight miles northwest of downtown Charlotte.

Police say Tonga stopped to assist Henry after he "came out of the back" of the pickup. Henry died about 18 hours later at Carolinas Medical Center. The autopsy showed the cause of death as blunt-force trauma to the head.

"We understand the time concerns that people have, but unfortunately we cannot rush the investigation to satisfy people's curiosity into whether or not the fiancée will be charged," Fey said.

Henry's funeral is scheduled for Tuesday in Louisiana. The Bengals are expected to attend as a team, two days after losing to San Diego.


Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press

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