Austin Shuffield has been indicted on four charges for assaulting a woman Deep Ellum, Texas back in March.
Shuffield was recorded on cellphone video brandishing a gun and punching 24-year-old L’Daijohnique Lee multiple times in the face during an argument between the two on March 21.
He has been charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, a second-degree felony; obstruction or retaliation, a third-degree felony; assault causing bodily injury and unlawful carrying of a weapon, both misdemeanors.
Shuffield’s attorneys, Scott Palmer and Rebekah Perlstein, released a statement saying, “while the standard for the grand jury to indict a case is quite low, we are nonetheless disappointed with the outcome.”
According to the arrest warrant affidavit, Lee told officers who arrived at the scene the night of the incident that she had been driving the wrong way on Elm Street when Shuffield, who worked nearby, got out of his truck and asked her to move because she as blocking him from getting out of the parking lot.
According to Lee’s statement, after she pulled into the lot Shuffiled started taking pictures of her license plates.
The two began arguing and Shuffield slapped Lee’s cellphone out of her hand as she tried to call 911. Shuffield then hit Lee at least five times.
Shuffield told police he was acting in self-defense when he hit Lee because she had threatened to use pepper spray on him and she had also broken his truck’s rear windshield with a jump box. Police said they could smell “a strong scent of alcoholic beverage” while they spoke to Shuffield.
He was originally arrested on misdemeanor counts of assault and interference with an emergency call, but the video footage led to public outcry for heavier charges. Police would later upgrade the assault charge to a felony count of aggravated assault. Sheffield was also re-arrested on a weapons charge after the video showed him holding a gun.
According to an affidavit, Shuffield did not have a license to carry the .45-caliber Glock handgun seen in the video.
A special prosecutor was appointed to handle the charges against Shuffield in September after his attorney alleged that the Dallas County district attorney’s office had shown bias in how it dealt with the case.
Shuffield’s attorneys said the DA’s office “has demonstrated that their office is unable to make objective decisions on this matter by their actions of clearly intending to enforce laws only when it benefits their cases.”
The district attorney’s office said it disagreed with that sentiment but it did not object to the appointment of a special prosecutor.
Dallas defense attorney Russell Wilson, who previously led the DA’s public integrity unit, presented the charges to a grand jury.