While the domestic violence charges against former Carolina Panther Greg Hardy were expunged this week, his alleged attack on a former girlfriend took on greater clarity Friday with the publication of dozens of photos of her injuries.
The website Deadspin published a detailed account of the violence that erupted in Hardy’s uptown Charlotte condo, including 48 photographs – most of them kept from public view until now – of bruises, scratches and discoloration to many parts of Nicole Holder’s body.
The report also features transcripts of interviews the former uptown waitress gave police after the incident on May 13, 2014.
The online magazine did not say where it got the photos and other evidence from the criminal case. Only a few parties would have had access to some or all of the material, including Mecklenburg County District Attorney Andrew Murray and his staff, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, and Hardy’s defense team.
Murray said his office had not cooperated with Deadspin in any way and again declined to make the Holder photos available to the public. Jamie Adams, who prosecuted the case and now works as an assistant district attorney in Catawba County, did not return a phone call Friday afternoon.
Attorney Chris Fialko, who headed Hardy’s defense, said he is no longer connected to the case and declined to comment.
The NFL, which sued Murray to get access to some of the photos before suspending Hardy earlier this season, said it had not leaked the photographs or other evidence.
Police spokesman Rob Tufano said CMPD would have no comment.
Portions of Deadspin’s story have already been reported by the Observer. But the article also includes new details.
Hardy initially was convicted of misdemeanor assault on a female in July 2014. During the 10-hour trial, he and Holder gave dueling accounts of what happened in Hardy’s bedroom after a night of heavy drinking by the pair and their entourage.
Holder said Hardy erupted in rage while the two were in bed. She said he threw her against a bathroom wall, then picked her up again and flung her down on a futon covered with guns and rifles. She says the former Pro Bowl defensive end then choked her until she finally told him to kill her.
Hardy, though, called 911 to report an out-of-control Holder attacking him. And Fialko accused her in court of fabricating the entire episode.
“You didn’t break a fingernail, did you?”
“I did break a fingernail, a toe nail,” she testified.
“Well good,” Fialko replied sarcastically.
Hardy appealed, asking for a jury trial. Before it started, Murray dropped the charge, saying Holder disappeared and refused to cooperate with prosecutors. She could not be reached for comment Friday. Her attorney, Daniel Zamora of Charlotte, did not return a phone call.
The photographs published by Deadspin, some resembling those shown at Hardy’s trial, reveal significant bruising to Holder’s throat, back and arms. Some were shot by police on the street outside Hardy’s condo the night of the incident. Others apparently were taken when Holder visited a hospital the next day.
The story also features a partial transcript of the interview between Holder and CMPD Detective Faye Strother.
Strother: “What were you thinking when this was going on?”
Holder: “He was gonna kill me, this is it ... this is the time. He’s actually going to do it.”
Reached Friday, Strother declined to comment and referred questions to her department.
After his conviction, Hardy spent most of his last season with the Panthers on the exempt list, then signed a one-year contract with the Dallas Cowboys. The NFL suspended him 10 games for violating the league’s policy on domestic violence, a punishment that was reduced to four games on appeal.
Now, Hardy is back playing on Sundays. Despite run-ins with a teammate and a coach, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones recently described him as a “real leader” for his team.
Earlier this week, a routine judge’s order removed all mention of the assault charge and conviction against Hardy from Mecklenburg court records.
Panthers writer Joseph Person contributed.