SAN JOSE – The woman who accused 49ers linebacker Reuben Foster of domestic violence gave emotional testimony in court Thursday, claiming Foster was not responsible for her injuries.
Elissa Ennis, 28, said she lied to police, hospital workers and her mother because she was angry that Foster told her he was ending their multi-year relationship.
“I was threatening Reuben,” she said on the witness stand during the preliminary hearing. “I was going to f--- up his career.”
Foster faced two felony domestic violence accusations and one felony charge of possession of an assault weapon during his preliminary hearing at the Hall of Justice.
At the end of more than four hours of conflicting testimony and arguments, Judge Nona L. Klippen decided to take the case under submission to review the evidence and testimony of the case. She will make her ruling on Wednesday, May 23, whether Foster will stand trial.
“Clearly, there are a number of different statements,” Judge Klippen said.
Foster’s attorney, Josh Bentley, argued the domestic violence charges should be dismissed after Ennis’ 90-minute testimony during which she claimed she wanted to get back at him for ending their relationship. She told Foster she was “going after him, the 49ers and their coaches.”
Prosecutor Kevin Smith asked Ennis if Foster had put his hands on her. She answered: “No, sir. Not once.”
Ennis testified against the advice of her counsel. She admitted to lying to police and stealing from Foster. She said she stole more than $8,000, which was later returned, as well as two men’s Rolex watches, which remain in a safe deposit box in Louisiana.
The prosecution called Ennis to the stand, though she had already publicly recanted her early version of events that led to Foster’s arrest on Feb. 11 in Los Gatos. Foster’s attorney asked her why she would testify under oath and risk being subject to criminal prosecution for perjury, theft and lying to police.
“I had to do the right thing,” Ennis said.
Ennis also admitted near the end of her testimony, under questioning from Bentley, that she tried to bring a false domestic violence charge against another former boyfriend, who tried to break up with her in 2011.
After the alleged incident with Foster on the morning of Feb. 11, Ennis flagged down a passing motorist, who described her as calm. He said he did not detect any torn clothing or obvious injuries.
Ennis told police Foster dragged her by her hair, punched her approximately 10 times, spit on her and threw their bulldog across the room. She said all of her statements were lies. Bentley asked her why she told those lies.
“I was pissed and I wanted to end him,” Ennis said.
Hours later, Ennis went to a hospital for observation. Photos were entered into evidence that showed redness and abrasions on the left side of her face, front and back of her neck and an injured knee.
Ennis said the injuries were sustained in a fight with one or two women in San Francisco after a road rage incident the night before the alleged incident with Foster in Los Gatos. She said under oath that she had not been drinking. She previously told police she had been drinking and got into a fight outside a bar.
A 22-second clip of the fight, which apparently lasted much longer, surfaced on Instagram. The defense forwarded the video onto the Santa Clara County District Attrorney’s office.
James Wiens, the investigating officer from Los Gatos-Monte Sereno police, agreed with the defense’s description that the video showed a “quite physical fight” between two women. The investigator was unable to verify the time or location of the fight, in which Ennis was identified as one of the participants.
Foster faces felony charges of domestic violence with an allegation he inflicted great bodily harm, and forcefully attempting to prevent a victim from reporting a crime. Bentley argued that there could be no charge for preventing a victim from reporting a crime if there was no crime.
Foster also faces a felony charge of possession of an assault weapon, which was purchased legally in Alabama. The weapon, which is illegal as configured in California, was found loaded and on the floor of a bathroom at the Los Gatos house Foster once shared with Ennis.