49ers

After hours of emotional and conflicting testimony, ruling on Reuben Foster to come May 23

After hours of emotional and conflicting testimony, ruling on Reuben Foster to come May 23

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.

49ers sign OL Laken Tomlinson to three-year extension

49ers sign OL Laken Tomlinson to three-year extension

Guard Laken Tomlinson appears to have wrapped up a starting position on the 49ers’ offensive line, as the club signed him to a three-year extension on Thursday.

Tomlinson, who started the final 15 games of last season at left guard, is now signed through the 2021 season, the 49ers announced.

“Laken is a very talented player who has improved consistently since joining the team one week before last year’s season opener,” 49ers general manager John Lynch said in a statement. “This offseason, his hard work and dedication paid off as he continued to progress and performed at a high level. We were confident we could work out a contract extension with Laken and we are fired up to get that done before training camp.”

The 49ers acquired Tomlinson in a trade from the Detroit Lions for a 2019 fifth-round draft pick shortly before the start of last season. The Lions selected Tomlinson with the No. 28 overall pick from Duke in 2015.

The 49ers did not pick up the fifth-year option on Tomlinson for the 2019 season, which would have cost $9.625 million. Instead, the 49ers and Tomlinson agreed to a three-year extension worth up to $18 million with $10 million guaranteed, reports the NFL Network.

Tomlinson, 26, started 24 of 30 games in his first two seasons with Detroit. He entered the 49ers’ starting lineup in Week 2 and every game for the remainder of the season.

The 49ers appear to have four starting positions set along the offensive line, with Tomlinson and tackle Joe Staley on the left side. Veteran center Weston Richburg is slated to start at center, while rookie Mike McGlinchey is settling in at right tackle.

Joshua Garnett, Jonathan Cooper and Mike Person will compete at right guard during training camp, which opens on July 25.

Rookie LB Fred Warner is setting the tone for 49ers, but he might be a little too loud

fredwarner49erscampap.jpg
AP

Rookie LB Fred Warner is setting the tone for 49ers, but he might be a little too loud

When the 49ers selected inside linebacker Fred Warner of BYU in the third round of the draft, it was easy to see how he fit into the team's plan with the degree of uncertainty surrounding Reuben Foster.

While Foster remained away from the team’s offseason program for five weeks, Warner felt a need to get up to speed quickly if he was needed to be a starter for Week 1 of the regular season. Warner said he was determined to learn as quickly as possible at whatever position he lined up.

“They want consistency over a guy who can make a play here and there,” Warner said on The 49ers insider Podcast. “Because if you’re a liability and you’re out there missing assignments, stuff like that, that’s going to get you cut. You have to be able to retain this information very quickly and be able to produce on the field and put a good product out there. That’s the biggest thing.”

The 49ers consider the middle linebacker (mike) and weakside linebacker (will) positions as nearly interchangeable. The major difference is the mike position is the player who communicates in the huddle. Malcolm Smith is lining up with the first team at mike, while Foster is at will. Warner is leading the second team at mike.

Foster joined the 49ers’ offseason for the final four weeks after a judge dismissed two felony charges of domestic violence. Warner knew all about Foster, the player, before meeting him as a teammate.

“He’s a very physical player, and something I didn’t know about him that I know now, he’s probably the smartest guy in the room,” Warner said. “This dude has the memory of an elephant. He doesn’t have to write notes down. He just retains things very quickly. And I think that’s what allowed him to play at such a high level as a rookie last year, aside from his physical talent.”

Warner has also learned a lot from Smith, who played six NFL seasons before sitting out last year with a torn pectoral.

“We’ve worked after practice on man coverage on tight ends and running backs.,” Warner said. “Even though that might not be something we touch on in practice or a meeting, he just wants to touch on that with me because he said, ‘If you can do this, you can play on any team in the NFL.’ “

One of the few critiques of the rookie during the offseason program is that Warner, who said he was a quiet kid as a youngster, has been a little too loud.

“He’s very smart and he plays like it on the field,” 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said during the first week of OTAs. “He doesn’t hesitate. He’s a rookie out there, but he’s calling the plays maybe even too loud because I can hear him from the offensive side. But, he doesn’t mind speaking up. He’s confident in what he’s doing.”

Warner said he wanted to win the confidence of his teammates, so that might have contributed to his increased decibel level.

“I want to make sure that when I get in that huddle and I’m talking to these guys, that they know that I know what I’m doing and I’m ready to go,” Warner said. “I’m the one who’s going to set the tone in the huddle before the play even happens.”